26 April 2020

One new Murrumbidgee COVID-19 case, police enforce restrictions across Southern NSW

| Genevieve Jacobs
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COVID-19 cases have stabilised across Southern NSW. Photo: Southern NSW Local Health District Facebook.

One new case of COVID-19 has been identified in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District bringing the total number of positive diagnoses to 46, as police continue to enforce social distancing restriction across the region.

lt’s the first positive result in Southern NSW for some time as infection rates in both the Southern NSW and Murrumbidgee Local Health Districts have held steady for weeks. There have been two recent new diagnoses in the ACT although health authorities say both are likely to be connected with overseas travel and are unlikely to put the general public at risk.

The new MLHD case is a man in his 60’s who is a resident of Wagga and is being treated in Wagga Wagga Base Hospital after returning a test reading in the “low positive” range. Further confirmatory testing is underway.

There are 39 recovered cases in the MLHD, where local health authorities last week announced that they would widen COVID-19 testing parameters to anyone with flu-like symptoms. 3481 coronavirus tests have been carried out in the MLHD to date.

There are no new confirmed cases in the Southern NSW Local Health District stretching across the South Coast, Monaro and Tablelands although the total has risen by one after a confirmed case who was isolating in another region relocated to the area after being released from isolation.

54 cases of COVID-19 have been formally identified within the SNSW LHD. There are currently two active COVID-19 cases, one in the Goulburn Mulwaree and one in Eurobodalla Shire. None of the SNSW LHD confirmed cases have required hospitalisation.

Across the District there are 51 ‘recovered cases’ no longer under active surveillance by the public health unit in either a hospital or in the community.

Health authorities have urged residents to stay the course over the Anzac Day long weekend and police continue to enforce restrictions on social gatherings. On the South Coast, Bega Valley Shire has locked down Bar Beach at Merimbula after local police expressed frustration at the “stubborn attitude” among people who had been advised to move on.

At Junee, police issued ten formal warnings for breaching ministerial directions after responding to reports of a mass gathering on April 24. Riverina Police District officers attended a property on Boundary Street, Junee and located 15 people consuming alcohol together.

Police say that four people were identified as living at the address, while the rest were unable to provide a reason for not being at their own homes. Following inquiries, a 22-year-old man was found to have received a prior warning and was issued with a $1000 fine. The rest received warnings, and all were directed to return to their registered addresses.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, sore throat and dry cough. Symptoms will generally appear three to four days after exposure to the virus but can be up to 14 days later.

Members of the public are advised to minimise travel, increase personal awareness around hand hygiene and practice social distancing.

Anyone who believes they have may have contracted the COVID-19 virus (ie returned travellers, or those who have come in contact with a confirmed case and are showing symptoms: fever, sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath) are advised in the first instance to:

  • Call the free-call coronavirus hotline 1800 022 222 and receive advice on the best course of action depending on your symptoms and risks. Medical staff will direct people to the nearest hospital or respiratory clinic, or advise them to stay home and self-monitor, or contact their GP, or
  • Contact your GP to arrange an appointment (let GP practice know in advance if you have symptoms) or the Southern NSWLHD Central Intake Service – 1800 999 880 (option 1) before attending
  • Call the Murrumbidgee COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 831 099 for assessment (7:00 am – 11:00 pm)

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