Adam Marshall’s COVID-19 update as at 5pm, Friday, July 17

COVID-19 has this week reared its ugly head again in NSW, with clusters in parts of Sydney forcing the State Government to implement a number of new restrictions around public gatherings.

From midnight tonight (Friday, 17 July) pubs will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people per group booking, with a maximum of 300 patrons or one customer per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser.

Pubs must appoint a dedicated Safe Hygiene Marshal to oversee social distancing, cleaning and hygiene at the venue.

These changes are the direct result of the damaging outbreak at the Cross Roads Hotel in southern-Sydney, which has acted as a serious reminder of how easily this virus can spread.

It is imperative that all businesses become part of the solution, not part of the problem.

For those who haven’t already downloaded and registered a COVID-19 Safety Plan they should do so immediately (pubs must have their COVID Safety Plan lodged by Saturday, 18 July), and ensure they are keeping attendance records to support contact tracing and comply with COVIDSafe hygiene measures.

As a side note, 20 people are still permitted to gather inside an individual’s home under the Public Health Order, however health officials do recommend households cap that number at 10 for safety reasons. 

Once again Queensland has changed its Border Pass process, creating two declarations, one for non-essential activities (General Declaration) and another for essential services (Essential Activity Declaration).

You must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass before you enter Queensland, which includes agreeing to get tested for COVID-19 if you develop any symptoms within 14 days of arriving in the State.

Testing is the number one tool the government has in restricting the spread of coronavirus.

Testing rates across the Northern Tablelands remain high and I urge everyone, no matter how mild the symptoms, to contact their GP or hospital and get screened if they feel unwell.

The drive though clinics at Glen Innes and Inverell are still operating between the hours of 1pm and 2pm Monday to Friday and those looking to be tested must book an appointment in advance by phoning the Inverell clinic on 6721 9520 and Glen Innes clinic on 0438 925 949.

To date, 507 people have been swabbed at the Glen Innes clinic, while 691 have been processed at Inverell.

The biggest point to make about testing is that YOU MUST self-isolate at home until your test results come back negative, until then you should not be out in the community.

Over the past seven days we have seen how quickly the virus situation can escalate.

For the sake of our business sector the Premier has ruled out implementing a state-wide lockdown which means we must all do our part to keep the virus at bay by social distancing and maintaining the highest hygiene measures.

To keep our loved ones and communities safe the below advice from medical experts continues to apply:

  • follow the rules about gatherings, self-isolation and quarantine
  • maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others
  • practise good hand hygiene
  • stay active and healthy
  • take extra care if you’re around vulnerable people
  • get tested if you have any symptoms, even if they are only mild
  • follow NSW Health advice about staying home while you are waiting for test results.

Hopefully there is some local sport to enjoy in your community this weekend but please stay safe.