Covid-19 blitz targets border

As of Monday, there have been no further cases of Covid-19 reported within the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), with the number of people infected since the pandemic began remaining at 56.

There are zero active cases of the virus in the region.

A total of 71,193 Covid-19 tests have now been conducted within the Murrumbidgee region, an increase of 313 in the 24 hours prior.

The MLHD’s Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Len Bruce addressed the media for the first time since August last Thursday to comment on the Covid-19 outbreak in Shepparton, which is part of the border region bubble.

He said that the health district implemented a testing blitz with its Mobile Testing Van to prepare for any potential community transmission.

“We have done extremely well in Murrumbidgee and in Australia overall we have done well compared to other countries, but we need to remember there is still no effective treatment for the virus and there is no proven vaccine that’s been rolled out, so the only defence we have against this virus is testing, isolation of people that are infected, and for us to manage appropriate social distancing,” Dr Bruce said.

He said that anyone who has been to Shepparton in the last two weeks will not be allowed to visit a Health Care or Aged Care facility in the MLHD.

“If there [are] special circumstances you can appeal to the facility and we have an expert group that review all requests and we will assess that on a case by case basis,” Dr Bruce said.

Dr Bruce is also encouraging anyone who went travelling during the school holidays to come forward for testing if symptoms arise.

“There were 11 cases of community transmission in New South Wales yesterday (Wednesday) so we have to remain vigilant,” he said.

“We know people have done an amazing job, but we cannot stop doing all the right things we’ve been doing.”

At last Thursday’s Snowy Valleys Council meeting, Councillor Geoff Pritchard expressed concern about Covid-19.

“I think we’re going to have an explosion about this virus very shortly and I think we (the council) need to be very agile and make the right decisions,” he said.

The MLHD is calling for people to come forward for testing, even with the mildest of symptoms. 

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, sore throat and dry cough. Symptoms will generally appear 3-4 days after exposure to the virus but can be up to 14 days later.

Those who are tested will need to remain in self-isolation until they receive the results of their test, which usually takes around 30 hours and can be received via text message.

Tests can be arranged by calling the MLHD Covid-19 hotline on 1800 831 099, or the GP-led Respiratory Clinic located at the Railway Precinct in Tumut on 6947 2211.