31 March 2020

Regional COVID-19 cases increase, calls grow to keep visitors away from South East

| Edwina Mason
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Snowy Monaro Mayor Peter Beer in Cooma.

Snowy Monaro Mayor Peter Beer has urged visitors to stay away from their holiday homes. Photo: File.

Regional COVID-19 diagnoses continue to rise across Southern NSW, while Cooma Monaro mayor Peter Beer has joined the call for people to stay away from the region in order for local health resources to manage the virus load.

In the Southern NSW Local Health District, there are now 48 confirmed cases of the virus following 1846 tests. None of these confirmed cases have required hospitalisation and all are self-isolating.

There are eight cases in Bega Valley, nine in the Eurobodalla, two in Cooma, ten in Goulburn and four in Palerang. Five positive diagnoses have been made in Queanbeyan, four in the Snowy River and six in Yass Valley.


SNSWLHD now has 48 confirmed cases of COVID 19. Image: SNSWLHD Facebook.

There have been a further four cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) identified in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) taking the total number of positive COVID-19 results to 35

Joining the local government areas already with positive cases is Narrandera Shire, while Wagga Wagga City Council area has three more positive cases, taking their total to nine. A total of 1582 people have been tested in the MLHD.

Murrumbidgee LHD

COVID cases in the Murrumbidgee LHD now total 31. File: MLHD Facebook.

The statistics in the MLDH are dominated by residents in the 20 to 29 years age bracket, seven of them female and four male. Thirty of the total 35 confirmed cases were acquired overseas. In Southern NSW the gender split is almost even with 23 males and 25 female confirmed cases.

Southern NSW LHD says that one case was acquired interstate, 17 locally, 29 from overseas and one case is still under investigation.

Plans are also emerging in regional health care systems to manage the growing virus load.

The MLHD have confirmed a number of strategies are being activated to ensure appropriate numbers of qualified health teams are available, and that clinicians are properly rested between shifts.

Nurses and doctors who have been working in other areas in MLHD hospitals, such as surgery, are now being deployed to caring for people with COVID-19.

Clinical staff who have moved into managerial and administrative roles are being deployed back to the front line.

The MLHD is also fast-tracking student nurses who have recently completed their training and launching a social media campaign to reach clinicians in the community to come forward and help.

While many people are expected to experience mild to moderate symptoms, which can be managed at home with the support of health care workers, MLHD Base Hospitals are equipped to support people with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

People who are most vulnerable are people over 70, people over 60 with chronic and complex illness, or people with weakened immunity and Aboriginal people with chronic illness.

Members of the public are being asked to remain calm and be vigilant in their hand hygiene and practice social distancing. Members of the public who need information can visit the NSW Health website

In the Snowy Monaro, Mayor Peter Beer has joined the many local leaders urging people to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region by staying at home and not choosing the Snowy Monaro as a place to self-isolate.

“We know our economy relies significantly on visitors, but now, we need to prioritise our community’s health. Additional people in the Snowy Monaro are only putting our permanent residents at risk and increasing the burden on our already stretched resources.

“While many properties in the Snowy Monaro are owned by investors from outside the area, and I appreciate their right to visit these properties, I urge them to stay at their normal place of residency.

“The 2016 Census revealed there were 3872 people living in our region over the age of 65. These residents are at increased risk of COVID-19. Please help them by following the state and federal government’s health warnings to stay home.

“We are a resilient community who has overcome bush fires and floods, and together we will overcome COVID-19″, he said.

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Algernon Moncrieff12:03 pm 01 Apr 20

The sooner the visitors to our coastal regional areas leave, the better! Why are Canberrans ignoring the orders from authorities for the last 2 weeks NOT to visit Eurobodalla, even if you have a holiday house! They are going through our supermarkets like piranhas!! They are bringing their evil viruses with them and spreading them here! They will clog up our limited health system if they get sick! Why do Canberrans think the law does not apply to them? Why do they treat the coast as their playground, to dirty and ruin any time they feel like it?

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