Adam Marshall’s COVID-19 weekly update as at 5pm Friday, July 3

While the Northern Tablelands, and in fact the entire Hunter New England Local Health District, finds itself COVID-19 free the same can’t be said for parts of Victoria, with flare-ups in some Melbourne suburbs prompting lock-down.

In NSW the Government is taking this situation very seriously, this week issuing a new Public Health Order which applies only to Victorians who live in the known coronavirus hotspot areas.

If any of these people are found to have travelled into NSW they face potential penalties of 6 months in prison or an $11,000 fine.

Health staff will also test the temperatures of passengers from Victoria as they arrive at airports and train stations in NSW.

It’s a completely different scenario on our northern border where, from noon next Friday, 10 July, Queensland will again open itself up to interstate travellers, subject to completing and signing a border declaration.

If any person entering Queensland from whatever place has spent time in any local government area in Victoria during the past 14 days, they will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.

The re-opening of Queensland is great news for our border economies and those farmers who own property in both states and have had to deal with road closures and movement restrictions during their main planting window. 

What all this boils down to is as NSW starts school holidays next week residents MUST continue to act as if COVID-19 is still in our community. 

The list of symptoms the virus presents now includes fever, cough, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath the loss of smell and taste, runny nose, muscle and joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting and loss of appetite.

If you are planning a family trip away over the school break and any of your family has these symptoms they must be tested before leaving and isolate until their results are known.

To avoid our own coronavirus flare-up during this time it falls on all of us to follow the below advice from our medical experts:

  • 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.

The risk is real and only by remaining hyper-vigilant can we ensure this illness does not return to our region.

Stay warm this weekend