Politics

New case numbers, isolation updates, testing chaos


Health Minister Brad Hazzard has accused the Queensland government of lacking common sense in its demand for PCR tests to cross the border.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday her administration would look to move to a rapid antigen testing requirement from January 1, but meanwhile massive queues in Sydney continue to overwhelm testing clinics.

A COVID-testing drive-through site in Bondi, Sydney.
A COVID-testing drive-through site in Bondi, Sydney. (Brook Mitchell)

Ms Palaszczuk has said only 10 per cent of those lining up for tests were travelling to Queensland, while federal government data suggests about 20 per cent are travelling anywhere interstate.

Hundreds more people have been delivered a false COVID-19 negative test, it emerged yesterday, after a Sydney lab issued incorrect results to 400 people.

Lines are already building in Sydney, with cars queueing at Leumeah in the city’s south-west hours ahead of the clinic there opening.

One woman said she had been in the queue since 7pm the night before.

“I’ve been turned away so many times and I have to get a second one to get back to work,” she told Today.

One woman said she had been in the queue since 7pm the night before in Sydney.
One woman said she had been in the queue since 7pm the night before in Sydney. (Nine)

Yesterday, Leumeah was among multiple clinics forced to turn hundreds away across the state, with some closing before midday.

NSW Health last night said close household contacts “essential to service delivery” would be able to leave isolation and return to work after seven days instead of 14, a move expected to significantly increase available staffing numbers.

Intimate look at frontline COVID-19 workers reveals pandemic reality

They would need a negative PCR test on day six and an approved risk assessment plan requiring daily rapid antigen testing, COVID-safe protocols in the workplace and PPE including wearing masks at all times while at work.

NSW recorded 6324 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, with hospitalisations rising to 520.

Intensive care admissions remained relatively low at 55.



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