There have been a further three cases of COVID 19 identified in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, taking the total number of positive results to 13.
There have been no positive results of the coronavirus in the Snowy Valleys local government area.
110 people have been tested across the large Murrumbidgee region, which takes in multiple council areas across southern NSW.
The new cases of COVID-19 located in Wagga Wagga and Greater Hume LGAs were confirmed yesterday afternoon. All cases notified were diagnosed after travelling overseas or being in contact with a confirmed case.
Greater Hume includes the towns of Holbrook and Culcairn.
So far, Albury City LGA has recorded four cases, Wagga City 3, Federation LGA 2, Greater Hume 2, while Cootamundra-Gundagai and Griffith each have one confirmed case.
All patients have experienced mild to moderate symptoms and are in self-isolation to ensure they do not transmit the virus. They are being managed at home with the support of their GP and a daily check up with local health services.
When notified of a positive test result for COVID-19 the MLHD Public Health Unit commences a process called contact tracing.
Contact tracing involves interviewing the person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to determine their movements while they were infectious and identify close contacts.
A close contact is someone who has been face-to-face for at least 15 minutes, or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 when that person was infectious.
Where individuals are identified as close contacts, the Public Health Unit tells these contacts they must isolate themselves for 14 days after they were last in contact with the case. A daily check-up process is set up for these people to monitor their health. This is done via an SMS process.
If not all contacts can be identified after a person has spent time in a particular location an alert would be issued to warn people who may have been in that location at the same time as the case.
The time between when a person is exposed to the virus and when symptoms first appear is typically 5 to 6 days, although may range from 2 to 14 days. For this reason people who are identified as close contacts are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
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.
Members of the public are advised to minimise travel, increase personal awareness around hand hygiene and practice social distancing.
Anyone who believes they have may have contracted the COVID-19 virus (ie: who are returned travellers, or who have come in contact with a confirmed case and are showing symptoms: fever, sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath) are advised in the first instance to:
• Call the free-call coronavirus hotline 1800 022 222 and receive advise on the best course of action depending on your symptoms and risks. Medical staff will direct people to the nearest hospital or respiratory clinic, or advise them to stay home and self-monitor, or contact their GP, or
• Contact your GP to arrange an appointment (let GP practice know in advance if you have symptoms) or
• Call the Murrumbidgee COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 831 099 for assessment (7.00 am – 11.00 pm)
Tips to reduce potential for virus transmission
• avoiding crowds and mass gatherings
• avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces
• keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people
• avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
• avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals.
MLHD and MPHN encourage members of the public who need information to visit the NSW Health website at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx