Federal MP's warning after being tested for COVID-19
POLITICIANS are no more bulletproof than the general public when it comes to facing down the coronavirus threat and the Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien would be the first to admit to that.
Mr O'Brien has undergone tests for COVID-19 after falling ill and having to cancel engagements in Noosa.
"After experiencing flu-like symptoms and in accordance with health advice, I was tested for coronavirus and I self-isolated while waiting for the results of the test.
"While I didn't think I had COVID-19, my symptoms meant that getting tested was the responsible thing to do to help ensure the health of others and to ensure Australia's recovery remains on track.
"Fortunately, my test result was negative and I am now back on deck.
"I am continuing to observe social distancing and follow the recommended preventative measures, in line with current guidelines," he said.
The MP said it is important for everyone "to be responsible to keep the curve flattened, and I encourage anyone who experiences the symptoms to be tested".
Mr O'Brien, who was a belated convert to the COVIDSafe mobile phone app to help track people who may have been exposed to the pandemic virus, was to have been at a function at the Noosa Dolphins this morning revealing the workshop/gym improvements he secured for the rugby club.
This was after he cancelled out due to illness last Friday, rescheduling only to have to delay now to possibly the end of the week if he gets the all clear from the COVID-19 test.
Mr O'Brien in recent weeks been out and about as a social distance at the Sunrise Beach bridge works replacement start with Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart and later up at the Cooroy Memorial Hall for another community funding handover.
"As we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis I am gradually shifting to conducting business as usual while observing the advice of the Australian Government's Chief Medical Officer," Mr O'Brien said on Facebook about his bridge engagement.
The week before that it was at the Noosa Showgrounds in Pomona to mark a major lighting grant where ironically the September show date has fallen victim to the virus as well being forced to cancel this year.
Cr Stewart recently was also tested for COVID-19 after feeling unwell but her results came back negative.
Over the weekend, Mr O'Brien revealed to the Sunday Mail how he had battled demons from his time as policeman investigating fatal crashes and had to work through mental health issues.
This was after he posted how "the stress and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can take a huge toll on mental health, particularly if you're worried about your job or finances".
Mr O'Brien said the Australian Government has announced a further $20 million towards suicide prevention and research - and since January 30 this year, we have provided an additional $500 million for mental health services and support, including $64 million for suicide prevention, $74 million for preventive mental health services, and $48 million to support the pandemic response plan.
"If you're struggling with your mental health, please reach out - there is help available," he said.
Call 1800 512 348 or visit https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/ or the Australian Government's free online resources at www.headtohealth.gov.au/