Local News

Let’s be cautiously optimistic while remaining vigilant

While there have been no new recorded cases of COVID-19 in residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District for 6 days now, Chief Executive Wayne Jones is reminding the community that it is not yet time to relax or celebrate.

The Local Health District is encouraging everyone in the community to continue practicing social distancing, staying at home, and keeping high standards of hygiene.

Mr Jones said the lack of any new cases should be considered a positive sign that the majority of people are doing the right thing, but there is still a chance we could see more spread of the disease if we are not careful and united in our behaviour.

“Although many of us may feel cautiously optimistic, our organisation is remaining vigilant, and I urge community members to do so as well,” Mr Jones said.

“As an additional safety measure, we are now screening all staff on arrival to work at public hospitals and health services. This has already been implemented for hospital visitors for almost two weeks.

“We are pleased to see the number of new cases of COVID-19 stabilise across NSW and are encouraged by the community’s willingness to come forward for testing.

Anyone who is feeling unwell with a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19 should call their GP for assessment or attend their nearest COVID clinic to be assessed for testing.

“We’re also encouraging anyone who works with vulnerable populations, such as in aged care or disability settings, or in close contact with others to present for testing if they have any symptoms, however mild. The absence of a temperature is no guarantee of being COVID-19 negative.”

NNSWLHD can now confirm that at least 32 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered, out of the total 56 cases in the District. That figure is correct as at 8pm Tuesday 21 April 2020.

To find out how long it takes people infected with COVID-19 to recover, NSW Health staff have begun contacting all cases at three weeks after their illness to ask them about their COVID-19 symptoms.

Cases whose symptoms have resolved are asked to report the date this occurred. Cases who still have symptoms are called every two to three weeks until symptoms have resolved.

One person remains in Intensive Care in Northern NSW Local Health District.

“As people continue to recover from the illness, it’s vitally important that we continue our efforts to stay healthy ourselves, which means staying home, staying alert to our own symptoms, and seeking medical care if we need to,” Mr Jones said.

“I want to thank the community for their diligence in following health advice and supporting each other through these difficult times.

“From what I have personally seen, and what our testing rates and case numbers show, our communities are really taking this seriously and should be applauded for their efforts.”