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For much of the Covid-19  Coronavirus world pandemic, we have been tucked up on our islands, isolated, and safe.

Safe from the fear, the scares, and the disease.

That was until Saturday, September 5.

The Friendly Bay Islander just happened to be with State Member for Redlands, Kim Richards on Russell Island, when the announcement came through that an island woman had been diagnosed with  Covid-19 , and from then it was controlled fear and panic stations, all over the place.

Pre-planned protocols and procedures immediately went into place; that saw Russell Island and other island sectors close down in various areas, and immediate testing clinics set up on Russell and Macleay Islands.

The island resident is believed to have been a woman aged in her sixties, and that her case was believed to be linked to the existing correctional services cluster, that had previously been identified.

The woman was believed to have travelled on the ferry between Russell Island and the mainland while infectious, and residents of the Bay Islands were urged to closely monitor their health and get tested if they developed any symptoms.

Over  the following days, approximately 600 people in total lined up for testing at both testing clinics, at the Russell Island Recreation Hall and the Macleay Island Community Hall.

Queensland Chief Health Office Dr Jeanette Young said the woman had been wearing a mask in the community leading up to her diagnosis.

Dr Young said that she believed that action may have helped nullify the spread of the virus. 

"I'm sure that will stand that community in good stead."

"It is really important for the next week at least, that anyone on Russell Island who develops any symptoms at all come forward and get tested."

She added: “Vigilance is key to keeping community transmission out of the islands and out of Queensland." Dr Young urged people with  Covid-19  symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested.

Two weeks after the incident, no other cases of  Covid-19  had been diagnosed on our islands.

• The lineup for testing on Russell Island the day after the Covid-19 case was announced.

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