There have been no further cases of COVID-19 identified in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District since Sunday’s announcement when it was revealed one person from the border region had tested positive to the virus.
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) will move towards doubling intensive care capacity at Griffith and Wagga Wagga Base hospitals in response to COVID-19, which will involve some non-urgent elective surgery being either postponed or transferred to private facilities.
Executive Director of Medical Services, Dr Len Bruce said there will be no change to the hospitals’ emergency and trauma theatres or urgent surgery cases.
“Elective surgery cases will be prioritised by clinicians from Wednesday,” said Dr Bruce. “The changes will apply to non-urgent cases, which include some non-urgent ear nose and throat, general surgery, urology and orthopaedic procedures.
“We are now working closely with our clinicians to prioritise these cases. We are also liaising with private providers to undertake these elective surgeries in their facilities, helping to minimise the impact on those currently waiting for a procedure.”
C-section lists will continue as normal.
Remaining theatres at Griffith and Wagga Wagga will be shared amongst all specialities, including general surgery, endoscopy and vascular surgery enabling urgent and emergency cases to be prioritised.
Elective surgery at smaller sites will carry on as normal at this stage.
MLHD reminded members of the community that all hospitals across the district have implemented a limit on visitors to a maximum of one at any one time.
The community is being urged to support one another by practising good hand hygiene, good cough etiquette and most importantly, staff and visitors should stay home if they are unwell.
“I know these are challenging times but the community can be assured that the District is doing absolutely everything possible to protect and maintain the health of the people of the Murrumbidgee,” said Dr Bruce.
“We are in the best position possible to deal with the increased demand and with cases of COVID-19 and we will continue to keep the community updated as information becomes available.
The NSW Government announced a $2.3 billion health boost and economic stimulus package to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak last week.
NSW Health will receive $700 million to assist in doubling ICU capacity, preparing for additional COVID-19 testing, purchasing additional ventilators and medical equipment, establishing acute respiratory clinics and bringing forward elective surgeries to private hospitals.