Tests are carried out at a pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Sydney. Twenty-eight confirmed COVID-19 cases have also now been linked to the Crossroads Hotel in the south-west Sydney suburb of Casula. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)
Tests are carried out at a pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Sydney. Twenty-eight confirmed COVID-19 cases have also now been linked to the Crossroads Hotel in the south-west Sydney suburb of Casula. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

DEBUNKED: Health sets record straight on COVID-19

DESPITE the wild rumours, it has been 78 days without a confirmed case of coronavirus on the Mid North Coast.

As the Victorian and NSW governments grapple with outbreaks close to their metropolitan centres, Mid North Coast Local Health District has dispelled rumours of confirmed cases in the region.

And while it has been more than 11 weeks since the last coronavirus case was confirmed, the message from Mid North Coast Local Health District is still clear.

If you have any symptoms whatsoever - get tested.

"We are encouraging people, even with the mildest of symptoms, such as a runny nose, scratchy throat or a cough, to get tested," MNCLHD chief executive Stewart Dowrick said.

"To help us protect the community it is critical that people continue to come forward for testing.

"Remember to observe physical distancing, practise good hand hygiene and stay at home if you're unwell."

COVID-19 testing clinics are located across the region at Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Bellingen, Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Kempsey and Laurieton.

The worsening situation elsewhere in the country has not led to a spike in testing locally, though overall there has been a steady increase as new clinics came online.

MId North Coast LHD COVID-19 tests conducted at 8pm July 12, 2020.
MId North Coast LHD COVID-19 tests conducted at 8pm July 12, 2020.

Since early February, more than 20,300 tests have been carried out in the region with almost 7000 being conducted in Coffs Harbour alone.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation across the region and are well prepared for any increase in COVID-19 cases," Mr Dowrick said.

"NSW has one of the highest testing rates in the world and a dedicated team of up to 150 people to conduct sophisticated contact tracing for any positive cases."

Rumours of confirmed coronavirus cases in various parts of the region have continued throughout the pandemic, the latest of which were in part fuelled by the way NSW Health counts cases.

 

Vicki Cheney and David Cheney working to test patients at the drive-in Covid-19 community testing site in Bellingen in May.
Vicki Cheney and David Cheney working to test patients at the drive-in Covid-19 community testing site in Bellingen in May.

Returning travellers who test positive are counted in the LHD of their place of residence, not where they test positive.

The NSW Health website currently shows there are 52 confirmed cases in the MNCLHD, with 49 recovered and one deceased.

However, the two left over were returning travellers who tested positive while in hotel quarantine in Sydney in late June.

A full list of testing clinic locations in NSW can be found at health.nsw.gov.au and residents can call the COVID-19 hotline on 1300 001 956.



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