With a COVID cluster in Sydney forcing many Queenslanders to return home, there are reports of a big increase in Burnett locals coming forward to get tested.
With a COVID cluster in Sydney forcing many Queenslanders to return home, there are reports of a big increase in Burnett locals coming forward to get tested.

Spike in Burnett COVID tests reported as travellers return

As Queenslanders make a mad dash home from Sydney due to the Northern Beaches COVID cluster, South Burnett locals have been rushing to get tested.

Data provided by the Darling Downs Health, which covers the South Burnett region, to the South Burnett Times shows between December 16 and 22, 663 COVID tests were completed - up from 585 the week before.

However, the numbers will likely be higher this week as travellers returning from New South Wales flocked to get tested upon arrival.

A returning traveller from Sydney, who did not wish to be named, told the Times when she received her test in Kingaroy, one of the medical practitioners noted a significant increase in testing rates in the region.

The traveller's test has since come back negative.

The increase appears to be occurring statewide, with Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young commending Queenslanders for stepping up to get tested.

Dr Young said over 16,350 tests were performed in just four days - an increase of 66 per cent compared to earlier in December.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the turnout was a testament to the people of Queensland.

"I am constantly amazed at the incredible community we have in this state," Dr Young said.

"In times of need Queenslanders deliver - this sort of response is absolutely critical for us to remain safe and keeping COVID-19 out of our state.

"I cannot thank you all enough for following advice, please keep up the good work."

Everyone who has any COVID-19 symptoms at all, no matter how mild, is asked to get tested immediately.

Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, and loss of smell or taste.

Other symptoms people may experience include muscle or joint pain, and loss of appetite.

Dr Young said there may be a wait at some testing clinics, but there was a focus on testing people with symptoms as quickly as possible.

"I understand this is another big ask in a year of sacrifices, but I remind Queenslanders we have various testing facilities right across the state - not just in our major hospitals," Dr Young said.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding and please remember to social distance while you wait.

"If a testing site is experiencing high demand when you arrive, consider choosing another location."

To find your nearest centre, visit the Queensland Health website to use the interactive map and postcode search, contact your local hospital or call 13 HEALTH.

South Burnett

New case details boost hopes for mask-free Friday

Premium Content New case details boost hopes for mask-free Friday

Queensland is on track to be mask-free from Friday

Elderly woman, 75, attacked by dog on morning walk

Premium Content Elderly woman, 75, attacked by dog on morning walk

“I started screaming go back inside and even yelled for help..."

UPDATE: Woman dies after horror crash

Premium Content UPDATE: Woman dies after horror crash

A young woman has tragically died following a serious crash