Plans in place if Covid-19 hits Douglas Shire

Covid-19

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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CHHHS said it has invested significant effort in updating its COVID-19 response plans for all parts of our region, including Douglas Shire
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Douglas Shire residents can rest assured there are plans in place in the probability of the region recording any Covid-19 cases.

Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) COVID-19 Health Incident Controller, Rudi De Faveri, said the CHHHS has invested significant effort in updating its COVID-19 response plans – based on Doherty Institute modelling, and our own local experiences – for all parts of our region, including Douglas Shire.

The Doherty Institute works on infection and immunity through a broad spectrum of activities. This includes discovery research; diagnosis, surveillance and investigation of infectious disease outbreaks; and the development of ways to prevent, treat and eliminate infectious diseases.

“Our planning will continue to be updated as the proportion of our population increases who have had both COVID-19 vaccinations.

“There is evidence that people who have had both doses of COVID-19 vaccination are much less likely to become seriously ill and require hospitalisation.

“Our incident management team is also engaging directly with the Local Disaster Management Group to support the development of local response plans,” said De Faveri.

In response to whether there are plans for testing and quarantine facilities, he said testing has always been available at Mossman Multi-Purpose Health Service; and there are plans to scale this up in the region if required.

“Testing can also be provided in Port Douglas by our partners at QML Pathology. Quarantine options have not changed – there are quarantine hotels in Cairns.”

As Mossman Hospital does not have an ICU, he said their response to a local outbreak will involve a co-ordinated response across their regions.

“COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation will be managed at a designated COVID hospital, such as Cairns Hospital, as they have the appropriately qualified staff and resources.

“It is important to note that the majority of COVID patients in our area in 2020 were managed through our hospital in the home program,” said De Faveri.

Questioned whether he was working with the State MP for Cook, Cynthia Lui, to ensure she's kept in the loop and whether she has been in touch (with CHHHS), he said their Health Service regularly liaises with all of its community leaders on various health matters, including COVID-19 responsiveness.

In terms of receiving the vaccination in the Douglas Shire, he said Mossman Hospital has been operational as a COVID-19 Pfizer hub since early July.

“Douglas Shire residents and visitors can also receive a COVID-19 vaccine at any of our pop-up clinics, as well as Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACHHOs), GPs, and local pharmacists.”

To book your COVID-19 vaccine, head to www.vaccinebookings.health.qld.gov.au or call 13 COVID (13 42 68); or simply walk-in to any Queensland Health vaccine clinic. No appointment is needed.


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