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LHD explains why Covid-19 detection locations are not released

Geoff Helisma|

Following up on a rumour that two people have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus in Yamba, the Independent asked the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) two questions.

  • There is a rumour that two people have tested positive in Yamba for COVID-19 – is that correct?
  • Given the changes announced over the weekend, which include travel bans between states, for example, and the obvious complacency still being widely practiced by a large percentage of the community, wouldn’t it be a good idea to announce where detections are made so as to encourage local communities to take the threat seriously and adjust their behaviour accordingly?
  • Please outline your reasoning if the answer is ‘no’.

The LHD responded with the following statement: “As per the advice last week, we aren’t releasing the particular locations of people self-isolating with COVID-19, unless that place is particularly noted by [NSW] Health authorities as somewhere that others may be at risk and therefore need to monitor for symptoms, for example on public transport.

“Other places that a confirmed case visited, works or lives don’t pose an ongoing risk to the community.

“The Public Health Unit traces all close contacts of confirmed cases and contacts them directly. If more information is required to be communicated to the general public, then Public Health will provide that.

“It’s also due to patient privacy requirements, as we’ve noted before.

“We do strongly encourage the public to follow the measure outlined by health officials and the government, state and federal, in practising social distancing to reduce and slow the risk of spreading COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, the NNSWLHD is providing regular updates on any cases detected within its area.

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