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Queensland's Chief Health Officer declares list of restricted areas limiting access to aged care facilities

ABC Health logo ABC Health 30/07/2020 By Rachel Riga and staff
a person standing in front of a door: Several aged care facilities across the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich regions are now restricted areas. (ABC News: Nic MacBean) © Provided by ABC Health Several aged care facilities across the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich regions are now restricted areas. (ABC News: Nic MacBean)

Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, has declared a list of restricted areas across the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich regions that will limit the access to aged care facilities in those locations.

The restrictions came into effect from 8:00pm yesterday and will remain in place until further notice.

Under the Public Health Act visitors will not be permitted to enter aged care facilities if they have been in a hotspot 14 days previously or if they have returned to Australia from overseas.

Any visitor to an aged care home must also wear a face mask to be allowed entry.

There are also rules around the number of visitors allowed to attend at one time and residents are not permitted to leave the facility unless they are required to for medical reasons.

Dr Young said she approved the release of to "assist in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the community".

"They are areas that we're asking people if they have any symptoms at all or any concerns that they might have symptoms to get tested," she said.

"If they have a fever, or they've had history of a fever to immediately get tested and to isolate themselves until they get the results.

"And it's also the areas that I've asked aged care facilities to be particularly cautious because we know the risks in aged care are horrendous so we want them to be very, very cautious."

Queensland Health said in the last 24 hours 6,866 patients were tested for coronavirus with 8,251 tests carried out as some people had multiple tests.

'I fully support the lockdown'

Yesterday aged care provider Carinity banned visitors, unless on compassionate grounds, at all residential aged care centres in South East Queensland.

These include Cedarbrook, Colthup Manor, Karinya Place, Brookfield Green, Hilltop, Clifford House and Wishart Gardens.

Andy Coller's 61-year-old wife Julie has advanced early onset dementia and went into care at the Clifford House facility in Wooloowin on Brisbane's northside in May.

He normally visits her four times a week, and recently his grandchildren were able to have weekly visits with her.

"Even though Julie doesn't remember my name and even though she will forget that I am there, it is still good for her to have family come and visit her and its good for us to go see her," he said.

"We talk, we look at photos of the family. I usually take some chocolate in, she loves a Freddo frog and sometimes I even sing to her and she laughs at that.

"It's harder for my children and grandchildren because its only recently they've been able to go see grandma.

"I fully support the lockdown and not being able to let visitors in and we don't want to get COVID into our aged care facilities."

He said Julie could be in lockdown for weeks depending on the ongoing level of community transmission in Queensland.

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