Adam Marshall’s COVID-19 update as at 5pm, Friday, July 31

At such a critical time in the pandemic it is really disappointing to see anti-maskers and border hoppers dominating the news cycle.

Over the last five months our communities have given up so much to keep the Northern Tablelands electorate COVID-19 free, which is why it is so frustrating that these people are blatantly going against the health advice of their home states.

On the other hand, our region should be celebrated for the hyper-vigilance individuals and businesses continue to show. In most places I visit people continue to follow social distancing, they are implementing COVID Safe business practices and most are across the latest health advice.

To me, that is the story which should be leading the nightly bulletins.

As of July 31 there were 219 active cases in NSW, again, none of which are anywhere near our region. 

It was pleasing to see Hunter New England Health extend operating hours at Armidale Hospital’s drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic, after more than 120 people were screened this week.

The Armidale clinic will now operate between 12pm and 3pm, Monday to Friday. People should call 0427 923 080 during operating hours to book an appointment before attending the clinic.

Due to the high demand for the clinic, some days it may not be possible to book an appointment. In this instance residents should seek testing at their local hospital Emergency Department or GP.

Anyone with a cough, a sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell or a fever (37.5° or higher) should be tested for COVID-19, even if symptoms are mild.

Again, the message remains people must STAY AT HOME AND ISOLATE until their test results come back negative.

Since the pandemic started 2700 people have been tested at drive-through clinics across our region.

From Saturday, August 1 new rules will be in place for gyms and fitness centres, requiring them to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan, register as a COVID Safe business  and have a dedicated  COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal on duty at all times.

The marshal is responsible for ensuring all aspects of the COVID-19 Safety Plan are being maintained, including social distancing, cleaning and ensuring accuracy of record keeping.

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.

Let’s continue to work hard to keep our region free of this horrible illness,