10 May 2023

Case numbers continue to drop across the Cape

| Cape York Weekly
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Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service is still running vaccination clinics around the region to help locals get their jab and boosters. Silvia and Anne found a shady spot under the mango tree in Aurukun’s town centre.

CASES of COVID-19 continue to drop in the region, indicating the peak may have passed.

Two weeks ago there were 604 active cases of COVID in Cape York and the Torres Strait, last week there were 488 and yesterday there were just 251 active cases.

Weipa has dropped to 59 cases after 146 active cases were recorded last Monday.

Thursday Island has 45 active cases, followed by Cooktown (25), Hope Vale (25), Napranum (24) and Horn Island (14).

There are currently no COVID-related hospitalisations in the region. To date, accounting for those who have been discharged from quarantine, the TCHHS has recorded 3736 cases of COVID-19.

“Masks are now no longer required in shops, workplaces, schools, and hospitality venues,” TCHHS chief executive Bev Hamerton said.

“However, they are still required in hospitals and primary healthcare centres, all other healthcare settings including vaccination clinics, GPs and dentists, disability care, prisons, aged care, airports and planes and while on public transport anywhere.

“We continue to urge Torres Strait, Cape York and NPA residents to observe common sense hygiene practices such as maintaining social distance – think three big steps – and good hygiene, including frequent washing of hands with sanitiser, especially when gathering in groups for social events.

“And very importantly, stay home if you are sick – don’t go to work and think carefully about attending social gatherings.

“We are continuing to see transmission of COVID–19 throughout our region, and remind our communities that vaccination remains our best protection against the virus.

“While being vaccinated will not prevent you getting COVID-19, vaccination has been proven to reduce the severity of the illness and help keep you out of hospital and, especially, out of intensive care.

“Everyone aged 16 years and older is eligible for the booster vaccination if it has been three months or more since the completion of their primary course of vaccine – both doses.

“To date, we have delivered 6664 booster vaccinations across the region.

“If you are due for your booster, please come and get it for that added layer of protection.

“We are also delivering vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years and, to date, have delivered 1648 vaccinations to this age group, which represents about 49.8 per cent of eligible children.

“But we would like to see this percentage increase substantially, so I urge parents to please bring their children in for the vaccination.

“Vaccinating children also helps the community, as we’ve seen that children can play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 in family environments – with grandparents and other older family members being a significant concern.

“If you are sick with mild symptoms and cannot access either PCR or RAT testing, please stay at home.

“If you feel really sick and have trouble breathing while walking around the house, or strong chest pain, go to hospital or call an ambulance.”

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