Local News

Far North testing clinics extend opening hours amid covid scare

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Local coronavirus testing clinics are extending their opening hours to keep up with demand after a Mareeba woman tested positive to the Delta variant after returning from Melbourne.

Despite concerns of community transmission in southeast and far north Queensland, the state hasn't recorded any locally acquired Covid-19 cases overnight.

Dr Don Mackie, of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, says widespread contact tracing is underway to track down anyone connected to the Mareeba woman.

"We are working through contact tracing, and the first place for that is the people on the aircraft and the flight that came up from Brisbane.

"We are working with her close family.

"She stayed very much at home, very small contact with anyone in the region," Dr Mackie says.

The woman, aged in her 20s, had been studying in Melbourne, before travelling to Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, transiting through Brisbane, on July 13. She then flew to Cairns where she was picked up by a relative and taken home to Mareeba.

She was fully vaccinated, and was tested at the Atherton Fever Clinic on Sunday, before health authorities were alerted to her positive diagnosis late on Monday night.

Where can you get tested?

- Cairns Hospital Fever clinic (walk-in) – extended hours until 6pm daily
- Portsmith Fever clinic (drive through) – extended hours until 6pm daily and double capacity (two lanes)
- Mareeba Hospital clinic (drive through) – extended hours until 5pm daily
- QML Amaroo Medical Centre Mareeba (drive through) – new service 8am-4pm daily
- SNP 122 Byrnes St, Mareeba (drive through) – new service 8am-4pm daily

'Get tested for minor symptoms'

This morning, Cairns MP Michael Healy told Star102.7's Dave and Inkie even though the risk appears low, people cannot become complacent.

"Anyone having symptoms of any kind are being encouraged to be checked.

"How we are going to response to any action is really going to be determined by how many tests we get...no need to panic, we're on top of this, we just need people to do the right thing."

Close contact venues: Friday 16 July - Virgin Flight VA791 Brisbane to Cairns between 4.50pm and 7.20pm

Casual contact venues: Friday 16 July - Departure Gate 43 - Brisbane Domestic Airport between 4.10pm and 4.50pm Friday 16 July - Cairns domestic airport - luggage collection area between 7.30pm and 8pm

Low risk contact venues: Friday 16 July - Cairns domestic airport - excluding the luggage collection area between 7.30pm and 8pm