POSITIVE CASE: Contact tracing is underway in Chinchilla. Pic: Supplied
POSITIVE CASE: Contact tracing is underway in Chinchilla. Pic: Supplied

Contact tracing underway for Chinchilla COVID-19 patient

CHINCHILLA recorded its first coronavirus case on Thursday, April 2, a sobering reality for the township as the virus had made its way to the small regional town.

A Darling Downs Health spokesperson said contact tracing is underway to determine where the patient caught the virus and who it may have passes to.

"Contact tracing involves getting in touch with people who may have been in close contact with and infected by the person confirmed to have the disease," the spokesperson said.

"This doesn't mean people the person may have passed on the street or in a shop, as the risk in these situations is extremely low.

"If it's not possible to reach close contacts one-on-one, we instead put out a public health alert with the details of the person's movements, so the public can help us get in touch with those who might have come into contact with the person with the infection."

The DDH spokesperson said they could not confirm the Chinchilla patient is a return traveller, although went on to say most cases in Queensland are from patients who have travelled overseas, or who have had direct contact with a confirmed case who had travelled overseas.

"This patient is in a stable condition in home isolation, and is being checked on daily by our clinical staff," the spokesperson said.

"Due to patient confidentiality and the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 now in Queensland, we are unable to provide any further details at this time."

It was only a matter of time Chinchilla has a patient test positive for COVID-19, the first recorded case in the Western Downs was announced four days earlier in Miles, March 29.

Through social media, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service confirmed the Miles patient was a returned traveller.

Queensland Health said the Miles patient has mild symptoms and is recovering at home with daily check-ins by clinical staff.

As of today, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Darling Downs is 41.

The cases are spread over the following areas; one in Chinchilla, Miles, and Warwick, two in Kingaroy, four in Oakey, and 32 in Toowoomba.

Across the state Queensland now has 900 cases of COVID-19.

All hospital health services across the state have strategies in place to respond to COVID-19, the DDH spokesperson said we have one of the best health systems in the world.

"We understand people in our communities may be feeling concerned… the Queensland Government has a $1.2 billion COVID-19 response plan in place to support the health system during this time," the spokesperson said.

"We've responded to health emergencies in the past and we will do it again."

As the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation stay up to date with latest information by visiting www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus.