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Positive COVID-19 case at Wagga funeral sparks health warning

Max O'Driscoll10 November 2021
Wagga

Hundreds attended a potential exposure site in Wagga Wagga on Friday. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) has issued a public health alert after a person who later tested positive to COVID-19 attended a funeral alongside hundreds of others in Wagga Wagga, but is also warning residents need to prepare to live with the virus.

An MLHD spokesperson said the infected person attended an outdoor funeral at Chambers Park in Tolland on 5 November. About 300 other people were in attendance, including a large number of Indigenous people.

Attendees have since been urged to immediately seek testing and self isolate until they receive a negative result.

So far there have not been any further cases linked to the event but Wagga residents are being encouraged to monitor their symptoms over the course of the next few days.


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MLHD Chief Executive Jill Ludford said the community would have to get used to incidents like this as the region reopens to areas with a higher COVID load.

“I think it’s really important to preface that as we start to see people from Victoria and Sydney, and everybody driving around, and we start to prepare for Christmas, that our communities should expect to see some small numbers of COVID cases in their regions,” said Ms Ludford.

“I think we’re still very used to the messaging around elimination where, whenever there’s a new case, we try to track every movement and every venue, but now we’re actually into living with COVID and it’s all about how we can add layers of protection to keep ourselves safe and lessen the transmission in our communities.”

There were 12 COVID-19 cases overnight in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District with nine of those cases in the Albury LGA, and one each in Wagga Wagga, Berrigan and Hay. The region is currently at 97 per cent single dose and 88.9 per cent fully vaccinated.


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There were six new COVID-19 cases in the Southern NSW Local Health District area in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday. Three of those cases were in Karabar and one in Bungendore. Two of the Karabar cases are linked to known cases and one is under investigation. The Bungendore case is also under investigation.

There was one new case in Crookwell, which is under investigation, and another in Berrambool in the Bega Valley, which is also under investigation.

Everyone aged 12 years and over is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination.

NSW Health state-run clinics are now offering a booster dose, using the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, to individuals aged 18 and over. This booster shot will help people maintain a high level of protection against the COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant.

People aged 18 years and older may receive a booster at least six months after receiving their second dose of any of the COVID-19 vaccines registered for use in Australia.

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