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Australia Authorities urge Victorians to get tested for COVID-19 as rates begin steep decline

01:10  12 june  2021
01:10  12 june  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Health authorities and experts are warning Victorians not to get complacent about COVID - 19 testing this winter as testing rates in Melbourne begin a worrying decline . Last month, Professor Sutton said health authorities had revised the date at which the source case in the current cluster was infectious and emphasised the need for anyone with any symptoms, even "just a runny nose", to get tested for coronavirus so the gap between being infectious and testing positive was as small as possible.

COVID - 19 testing involves analyzing samples to assess the current or past presence of SARS-CoV-2. The two main branches detect either the presence of the virus or of antibodies produced in response

Testing staff in full PPE is seen at the Deer Park testing facility in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. © Getty Testing staff in full PPE is seen at the Deer Park testing facility in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Health authorities and experts are warning Victorians not to get complacent about COVID-19 testing this winter as testing rates in Melbourne begin a worrying decline.

Melburnians are entering their second day of relaxed restrictions after a two-week "circuit-breaker" coronavirus lockdown.

While the state recorded zero new cases of coronavirus on Friday, health authorities were still trying to figure out how six recent positive cases caught the virus. 

Health authorities believe a Reservoir household of four and two people who travelled to Queensland were infected with the Kappa strain, but the origin of their infections was still under investigation. 

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The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine committee has voted against a blanket authorization for booster doses of Pfizer’s Covid - 19 jab. However, the panel recommended boosters for vulnerable people and the over-65s. The agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met on Friday and heard arguments from scientists and Pfizer representatives in favor of authorizing a third dose of the US drugmaker’s Covid - 19 vaccine for the general public. After several hours of deliberation, the panel voted 16-3 against approving the boosters.

Essentially, Covid 19 has long been shown – to those willing to pay attention – to be an entirely created pandemic narrative built on two key factors: False-positive tests . The unreliable PCR test can be manipulated into reporting a high number of false-positives by altering the cycle threshold (CT value). Firstly, they are lowering their CT value when testing samples from suspected “breakthrough infections”. From the CDC’s instructions for state health authorities on handling “possible breakthrough infections” (uploaded to their website in late April): For cases with a known RT-PCR cycle threshold

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said having cases with an unknown transmission link was "a really strong reason for everyone to get tested".

He said testing needed to become the norm for Victorians, who would probably need "to test once or twice or three times" this winter. 

"That is the only way we can be sure where coronavirus is and to run it out of the state."

But that doesn't appear to be happening, with testing rates more than halving over the past week. 

The past two months of COVID-19 test results in Victoria show that, as you would expect, tests spike during outbreaks and drop back in quieter times.

The past two days of results have already fallen from the record-breaking spikes hit during the most recent outbreak, where more than 380 exposure sites were listed at some points.

Victoria recorded four new Covid-19 cases on Friday

  Victoria recorded four new Covid-19 cases on Friday The Victorian government is facing mounting pressure to lift the lockdown after they announced on Wednesday it would be extended in Melbourne until June 10. The decision came after health authorities declared two people, who had only 'fleeting' contact with infected cases, tested positive to Covid-19. The brief interaction raised fears of the highly contagious nature of the Indian strain of the virus and prompted chief health officer Brett Sutton to dub it an 'absolute beast' that was spreading 'in settings and circumstances we've never seen before'.

For the ongoing pandemic, see COVID - 19 pandemic. For other diseases caused by coronaviruses, see Coronavirus diseases. noticeable symptoms at any point in time.[38][39] These asymptomatic carriers tend not to get tested and can On the other hand, COVID - 19 infection may cause increased rates of unfavorable outcomes in the course Demonstration of a nasopharyngeal swab for COVID - 19 testing .

Testing for coronavirus ( COVID - 19 ). If you have any of these 3 coronavirus ( COVID - 19 ) symptoms, even if mild, use this service to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible

On Friday, authorities said they were anxious to see at least some of that testing volume sustained in the months ahead and have repeatedly warned against assuming a tickle in the throat is something else, pointing to cases during the outbreak as evidence that a delay in getting tested and quarantining could result in more exposure sites and potential points of transmission.

Last month, Professor Sutton said health authorities had revised the date at which the source case in the current cluster was infectious and emphasised the need for anyone with any symptoms, even "just a runny nose", to get tested for coronavirus so the gap between being infectious and testing positive was as small as possible.

"Don't think that it's something else," he said.

"We can't emphasise it enough. It's out there in the community, you have to assume it's COVID until proven otherwise."

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The trials have been extremely rushed & involved testing only small numbers. What could possibly go wrong? Since the first positive results on vaccines have come out, a lot of people have asked me if I think everyone should take them? The first thing I want to say here is that the type of vaccine being developed against Covid - 19 has never been used before, outside of Ebola. Some people feel that they should not really be called vaccines, because they are completely different from anything that has gone before.

" Covid - 19 continues to exert a tremendous toll on our nation. Like you, I want to be able to return to everyday activities and engage with our friends, families, and communities," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at the White House briefing Monday. "Science, and the protection of public health must guide "As more people get vaccinated, levels of Covid - 19 infection decline in communities, and as our understanding of Covid immunity improves, we look forward to updating these recommendations to the public." The CDC defines people who are fully vaccinated as those who are two weeks past their

Don't assume it's 'just a cold' 

Brigid Lynch is the president of the Australasian Epidemiological Association president and said 17,000 coronavirus tests as of Friday was not as high as she would have hoped.

"Everyone would be a lot more comfortable seeing it closer to the 30,000 mark, particularly given that we're in winter," Dr Lynch said.

"Seventeen-thousand would be considered a good testing day if it was the middle of summer and there's no known COVID around and because we don't have the colds and coughs circulating as often as in winter."

She said it was "critical" people did not become complacent about testing.

"The Chief Health Officer made the point that you might go out and get a test and have the same symptoms a couple of weeks later and think I had a test and it's just a cold again, we can't fall into that way of thinking, when you start feeling sick again, go and have another test."

Testing as important as getting vaccinated

Associate Professor Lynch said people all over Australia needed to think of testing as being on par with getting vaccinated.

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"It's one of the most important things you can do to keep your community safe," she said.

It can also help contain an outbreak much faster, she said, by cutting down the number of days someone who is infectious is out in the community.

"We know people are infectious for two or three days before their symptoms start and it's a lot easier for the contact tracing teams to trace two or three days in the community than it is for them to go through the past week or longer."

Associate Professor Lynch said it was understandable some may be discouraged from getting a test due to having to quarantine until the results come back, but added that turnaround times for tests were "very fast at the moment", especially compared to last year.

"Most people are getting their test results back within 24 hours so it is a slight inconvenience and we know it can be a bit of a downer I suppose if you've got something planned that day, but it's just so important. It's one day to stay at home, watch TV, read a book."

While Melbourne's outbreak hasn't been easy for the state, Dr Lynch said it wasn't serious enough yet to warrant health authorities doorknocking residents in affected areas to encourage testing like last year. 

"It does provide data to the epidemiologists about where the virus is and where it might be moving but I think the number of cases probably doesn't justify that level of intervention.

"Certainly, the community has come on board, there's been a lot of engagement with local communities to make sure the message is getting out there.

"It may be something to consider down the track."

[Zendesk COVID form embed]

Testing chief 'very unhappy' infected nurse worked multiple sites .
Victoria's Testing Chief Jeroen Weimar has slammed an 'operational error' that allowed a COVID-19 positive nurse to work across multiple sites as the state records no new local cases.The team member who worked at a COVID ward at the Epping Private Hospital also worked at the Northern Hospital.

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