Virus could still be circulating in the community: Health authorities

By | June 22, 2020

Nationally the number of cases may have allowed for many restrictions to be lifted, but overnight in Victoria the state recorded a spike with 16 new cases.

Health authorities there have since called for a lockdown of hotspots across the state, while NSW Health has urged anyone who has travelled from Victoria and feels unwell to get tested.

No new COVID-19 cases have been detected in the Western NSW Local Health District since April 18, but medical officials said people should still be on alert.

“The virus may still be circulating in the community,” a LHD spokeswoman said.

“It remains essential that everyone maintains social distancing of 1.5 metres and regularly washes their hands to minimise the risk of virus transmission,” she said.

“People with mild symptoms or those who show no obvious symptoms can unknowingly pass it to others.

“The LHD continues to urge anyone with even the mildest of symptoms to isolate from others and get tested at their GP or a COVID-19 clinic.”

COVID-19 symptoms include a runny nose, cough or scratchy throat, and loss of smell and taste.

COVID-19 testing clinics are still operating across the region, with mobile testing units visiting smaller towns in Western NSW.

Meanwhile, thanks to social distancing, influenza levels in NSW have been much lower than previous years, the LHD spokeswoman said.

Better hand hygiene and high levels of vaccination in the community have also kept the number of flu cases low.

“NSW Health has already distributed a record 2.89 million federally supplied doses of flu vaccine across the state since March 30, which is almost one million more doses than distributed in the same period last year,” the spokeswoman said.

Flu vaccinations are recommended by NSW Health are and free for:

  • People aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Aboriginal people
  • Those with at risk medical conditions
  • All children aged six months to under five years.

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Western Advocate – Health