The Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) has emphasised the need for holiday makers to stay at home and not head to the South Coast over Easter. With holidays just around the corner, the traditional trip to the coast is popular with many across the region, enjoying the beach and the local communities.
"While normally these towns welcome the influx of visitors, however with social distancing, and the need to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, we're asking people not to head to the coast for their Easter break," said health district chief executive Margaret Bennett.
"By moving around, we move the COVID-19 virus with us, which puts locals on the coast, especially the elderly at risk. It also puts pressure on our local health facilities, which need all available resources to deal with the pandemic in the local communities."
The call comes following a plea from local member for Bega, Andrew Constance MP for visitors to stay at home these holidays, highlighting the need to maintain health capacity on the coast.
"It's critical we keep our local hospitals available for local patients. The biggest help we can have from people not from the area, is to stay at home these holidays, practice social distancing, use good personal hygiene and don't leave your home unless it is absolutely necessary to do so," Ms Bennett said.
Social distancing means reducing the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another, while not always possible, keeping at least 1.5 metres away from other people. When social distancing is combined with good personal hygiene measures the spread of a pandemic through the community can be slowed.
There are many actions we can take to now to promote social distancing and help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in our community:
- Stay at home unless absolutely necessary
- Cloud not crowd - stay connected with family, friends and work colleagues through phone, email and social media.
- Stop shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting.
- Encourage flexible work/learning arrangements and encourage staff to stay home if possible.
- Maintain a high standard of regular cleaning.
- Insist on frequent washing of hands and use of hand sanitisers.
Anyone who believes they have may have contracted the COVID-19 virus are advised in the first instance to:
- call the SNSWLHD Central Intake Service 1800 999 880 (option one), where people will be triaged and if testing is warranted, will be directed to an assessment centre based on location contact your GP to arrange an appointment and let them know in advance if you have symptoms
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