HUNTER UPDATE – Novel Coronavirus (COVID – 19)

Shadow Minister for Hunter, Clayton Barr MP, is calling for calm, urging people to listen to health authorities and to practicing good hygiene including hand washing, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and stay at home if you are sick. 

Rumours of an outbreak in the Hunter have caused concern for members of the community. There is currently only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Hunter. 

HNE Health and Hunter New England Local Health District are providing care and support to one of the previously announced COVID-19 cases, a male in his 70s who recently returned from Italy. 

It is understood that health staff are undertaking daily wellness checks while he is in isolation at home and that he is doing well. His close contacts have been contacted and asked to self-isolate. They are being contacted every day by the Public Health unit to check that they are well. Any contact who develops COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the infection. 

NSW Health is continuing to trace and respond to cases as they are diagnosed to slow any spread of COVID-19 in the community. 

There are currently 65 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in NSW, and around 100 reported cases in Australia and three deaths. 

Labor is calling on the Berejiklian Government to urgently increase community awareness and health professional support. So the community have updated information. 

Comment from Clayton Barr, Shadow Minister for the Hunter: 

The Berejiklian Government is spending around $2 million every week on advertising itself but with an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in NSW, these funds should be re-diverted to get health messages out to avoid panic, confusion and unnecessary stress on our communities across NSW.