Coffs Harbour health campus hospital. 19 MAR 2020
Coffs Harbour health campus hospital. 19 MAR 2020

COVID-19 infection rise in Coffs area

THE number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections has jumped in the last few days, with NSW Health updating their official figures.

In the Mid North Coast health district, the number of cases reported has jumped to 21 as of 8pm Friday, up from reports of 16 earlier on Friday.

The Coffs Harbour local government area is reported to have five confirmed infections, Nambucca listed as having 1-4, with Bellingen council area not having any confirmed cases.

Further north, the Clarence is listed as having seven positive COVID-19 tests as of 8pm Friday, a jump from the 1-4 infections that had been reported since NSW Health began breaking down figures into local government areas last week.

The Lismore council area region is still being reported as having 1-4 cases of the disease, however the Northern NSW health district showed a big increase, with the total of confirmed cases rising to 32 at 8pm Friday, up from 25 a day earlier.

In other northern councils, it is reported that both the Ballina, Tenterfield and Lismore council areas each have 1-4 cases, Byron has five, Tweeds Head 12, while Richmond Valley and Kyogle have no confirmed cases.

The case definition of a confirmed case is a person who tests positive to a validated specific SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test or has the virus identified by electron microscopy or viral culture, at a reference laboratory.

As of 8pm Friday night, the only confirmed cases of confirmed locally acquired cases with an unknown source in the northern region is in Tenterfield and the Tweed, listed as having 1-4 infections of this type.

The Public Health Unit is following up close contacts of cases who are located within NNSWLHD, who are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from last contact with the confirmed case. They will be contacted daily to check that they are well and anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the virus. If you are considered a close contact of a confirmed case, a health officer will contact you directly.

COVID-19/flu clinics on the Mid North Coast are established at the following locations:

Coffs Harbour Health Campus COVID-19 Clinic

10am to 2pm - 7 days per week

Access the clinic via the Emergency Department entrance (turn right at main roundabout) and park in ED carpark. Walk past ED entrance and look for demountable buildings. They are sign posted.

Kempsey Health Campus COVID-19 Clinic

8am to 12 noon weekdays

Go to the front of the Emergency Department.

Port Macquarie Health Campus COVID-19 Clinic

via the Emergency Department

10am to 4pm weekdays

10am to 2pm - Saturday and Sunday

Go to the Port Macquarie Base Hospital Emergency Department and staff will assist you upon arrival.

The criteria for testing is following symptoms:

Fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and other flu like symptoms AND have travelled overseas or been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, anyone who has disembarked from a cruise ship should present to the clinic for assessment or our local health workers

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh previously said there have been many inquiries to his office by people asking about COVID-19 cases in the Coffs Harbour area.

"We know for certain there are confirmed cases on the Mid North Coast, and as this disease continues to affect more and more people, I implore every one of us to heed the advice," Mr Singh said.

"One of the main ways of stopping the spread of this virus is by staying at home, only leaving the house for essential reasons, and maintaining adequate social distance (>1.5m) when in public.

"We need everyone to assume that every interaction could lead to a COVID-19 infection.

"Avoid all unnecessary travel and contact - we do not want complacency to take hold if people assume their town is free of the virus. Assume it is not virus-free."

For advice and information about COVID-19 visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Residents of NSW can also call new the 24-hour COVID-19 hotline on 13 77 88 for advice and support on non-health related inquiries. For health related advice, please continue to liaise with your GP, or phone HealthDirect on 1800 022 222



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