11 August 2020

Second school linked to Batemans Bay COVID-19 cluster

| Kim Treasure
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Batemans Bay Public School. Photo: Facebook.

The new Batemans Bay COVID-19 cluster has grown to three, with two cases linked to local schools.

Southern NSW Local Health District has confirmed the new cases, which are known close of contacts of a recently identified case in Batemans Bay.

One of the positive cases is linked to Batemans Bay High School, while another is linked to Batemans Bay Public School.

READ ALSO COVID-19 case closes Batemans Bay High School

Both schools are closed today and students and staff are being asked to self-isolate and seek testing.

In response to this latest outbreak, the health service has stepped up testing and locked down the shire’s two hospitals.

“We have stepped up testing throughout the Eurobodalla, with the Batemans Bay Hanging Rock COVID-19 Pop-up Clinic (near the Marine Rescue Building), open from 9 am to 5 pm until Sunday,” a spokesperson said.

“In order to protect patients, staff and carers against the spread of COVID-19, we have taken steps to restrict visitor numbers to our Eurobodalla facilities.

“Visitors to both Batemans Bay and Moruya District Hospitals will not be permitted until further notice, unless under exceptional circumstances in consultation with the General Manager of the facility.

“Meanwhile the District will be encouraging the use of mobile and digital technology by patients to maintain contact with loved ones.”

A spokesperson said the positive results served as a timely reminder that locals and visitors to the region need to remain vigilant regarding social distancing, hygiene and the need to isolate and get tested if the need arises.

READ ALSO Doctor urges whole town to mask up

Isolation is mandatory for anyone identified as a close contact (not a casual contact) of a case. Anyone directed to undertake a 14-day self-isolation period must stay in isolation for the full time, even if they test negative.

Early testing may not detect an infection, and release from self-isolation based on a negative test could allow an infectious person to infect others in the community.

Most people who are infected and develop symptoms will do so within 14 days of exposure.

Meanwhile COVID-19 testing is continuing at Moruya Hospital from 9 am to 5 pm daily.

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