Qld virus testing centres overrun again

Marty Silk |

Thousands of Queenslanders are again lining up in the summer heat for COVID-19 tests in the southeast, where a number of private clinics remain closed for a second day.

Another 5699 new cases were recorded on Tuesday taking the number of active cases in the state to almost 26,000.

Huge lines have formed at Queensland Health testing clinics for a second consecutive day after a number of private hubs remained shut on Wednesday.

At least 17 private testing clinics failed to open as planned on Tuesday morning, putting public hubs under pressure.

It is understood two QML testing sites, at Boondall in northern Brisbane and Robina on the Gold Coast, have again closed on Wednesday.

Queensland Health said it didn’t have information about which private clinics were shut or on the waiting times at public clinics run by individual hospital and health services.

“It’s really important to highlight the spread of the virus and that of course, we will see an increase in testing as a result of how infectious Omicron is,” a spokesman told AAP.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said a “significant” number of people were lining up and queueing in traffic for tests in the southeast, where temperatures are set to reach 29C.

“But what we’re asking, of course, is that the community try and exercise patience,” he told ABC Radio on Wednesday morning.

“As I said, those people I saw this morning are probably in for a long wait, and it’s pretty hot. It’s important they get tested but they need to exercise patience.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath on Tuesday said it was extremely hard to ramp up capacity at public clinics because staff would need to be taken out of hospitals to do so.

On Tuesday there were 11 people in intensive care, including two on ventilators, and 170 patients in hospital.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said with almost one-in-four tests analysed by Pathology Queensland returned positive results on Monday there will be “hundreds of thousands cases” in Queensland by the end of this month.

“We know there are going to be more than that in the community that are not as yet confirmed,” he told reporters on Tuesday.