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With a constant stream of information and misinformation about COVID-19 (coronavirus) circulating, Echonetdaily will endeavour to update this page as news come to hand.

Updated Thursday, April 16, 4.20pm

The cases of confirmed COVID-19 have now increased to 56 in residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) as of at 8pm, Wednesday, 15 April.

‘Of the NNSWLHD cases, there are currently 2 patients with COVID-19 being cared for in our hospitals, one of these in ICU,’ said Wayne Jones, Chief Executive NNSWLHD.

‘Breakdowns by Local Government Area can be found on the NSW Health website.

As more information is gathered each day due to ongoing surveillance of existing cases, the counts reported on a particular day may vary.’

Updated Thursday, April 16, 12.30pm

There are now 54 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (as of 8pm Wednesday, 14, April) in the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD), with one new case having been confirmed since Saturday.

Of the NNSWLHD cases, there are currently two patients with COVID-19 being cared for in our hospitals, one of these in ICU.

Lismore Shire currently has five cases, Ballina has jumped up to nine cases since last week when they were at four to five cases. Coffs Harbour now sits at 14, Tweed at 15 and Byron shire now at 16 cases.

‘I want to thank our community for their support and engagement with the public health orders restricting movement over the past few weeks,’ said Wayne Jones, Chief Executive NNSWLHD.

‘It’s pleasing to see the numbers of new cases in our region slowing, and I want to acknowledge the efforts that have been made by our local residents in helping bring this about.

‘I encourage everyone to continue with hand washing and physical distancing which have been working so well to date.’

Updated Tuesday, April 14, 10.15am

Queensland COVID-19 stats April 14

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is providing ongoing support to Queensland Health as part of a co-ordinated whole of government response to the COVID-19 situation.

Under the provisions of the Public Health Act, police officers can take enforcement action against anyone who is failing to comply with public health directions set out by the Chief Health Officer.

An integral part of the QPS response is to ensure compliance with directions particularly around self-isolation, state borders, non-essential business activity, home confinement, movement and gathering.

Officers can issue on the spot fines of $1334 for individuals and $6,672 for corporations which fail to abide by the health directions.

QPS COVID-19 response statistics

The following preliminary statistics are current as at 12.01am today, Tuesday, April 14

 

 

 

Last 24hrs   Cumulative total since March 27
Breach of public health directions infringement notices 73  827 
Compliance checks conducted on individuals in quarantine 39  3,939 
Compliance checks conducted on non-essential businesses 27  5,891 
Vehicles intercepted at state borders 2,590 80,263 
Vehicles turned around at state borders 59  1,553 
People directed to quarantine at state road borders 103  3,199 
Domestic airport passengers arriving into Queensland 234  14,723 
Domestic airport passengers directed to quarantine 2,863 
People refused entry to Qld at domestic airports 0 42 

 


Updated Monday, April 13, 10.30am

Doctors get green light to send digital scripts12 April 2020

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said under the NSW Government changes announced today GPs and nurse practitioners will be able to send a digital image of the prescription.

‘These changes are designed to make accessing your medications easier and safer, particularly for those in the community with chronic conditions,’ he said.

‘It ensures people with compromised immune systems will not need to go to the doctor’s surgery in person and can get their script entirely through a telehealth appointment.’

Only allowing scripts to be sent by email or fax rather than via text to a pharmacist, will stop potential prescription forgery and diversion to the criminal supply chain.

The regulation amendment follows other recent changes including the strengthening of laws against people who spit or cough on health workers, including pharmacy staff.

President of the Pharmacy Guild of NSW, David Heffernan, said the new $5,000 fines send a clear message that frontline healthcare workers should be treated with respect.

‘Community pharmacists and their staff are working tirelessly to put patients’ needs first, often under stressful conditions and we will be here until the end,’ said Mr Heffernan.

NSW Health is also addressing the availability of prescription and over-the-counter medicines by introducing limits to ensure equitable access. Pharmacists are also able to dispense certain medications without a prescription and can stay open 24/7.

Families can also take advantage of an initiative announced earlier this year, enabling pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to anyone over 10 years of age.

Advice to pharmacists is available at advice for community pharmacies on COVID-19.


COVID-19 update Northern NSW Local Health District

Chief Executive NNSWLHD Wayne Jones has released an update of COVID-19 stats for the area.
‘As at 8pm Friday, 10 April, there were 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District, with two new cases having been confirmed since the last update on Thursday.’

NNSWLHD cases by likely source of infection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Of the NNSWLHD cases, there are currently two patients with COVID-19 being cared for in our hospitals, one of these in ICU,’ said Mr Jones.
Breakdowns by Local Government Area can be found on the NSW Health website:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-lga.aspx
‘As more information is gathered each day due to ongoing surveillance of existing cases, the counts reported on a particular day may vary.’
Easter Long Weekend clinic hours
‘All our COVID-19 clinics remain open over the Easter long weekend.’
These are located at:
Byron Central Hospital – open 10am-4pm
The Tweed Hospital – open 10am-6pm
Lismore Base Hospital – open 10am – 6pm
Grafton Base Hospital – open 10am – 6pm.


Queensland coronavirus stats update

Queensland has 9 new confirmed cases of coronavirus raising the state total to 974.

HHS* Active cases Recovered cases Deaths Total confirmed
cases to date
Cairns and Hinterland 11 21 0 32
Central Queensland 7 1 0 8
Central West 0 0 0 0
Darling Downs 22 19 2 43
Gold Coast 108 73 0 181
Mackay 8 5 0 13
Metro North 218 75 2 295
Metro South 147 85 0 232
North West 0 0 0 0
South West 0 0 0 0
Sunshine Coast 26 60 1 87
Torres and Cape 0 0 0 0
Townsville 12 11 0 23
West Moreton 23 14 0 37
Wide Bay 19 4 0 23
Overseas 0 0 0 0
Total 602 368 5 974**

* HHS level case data may include a patient’s residential address, Public Health Unit managing or location where test was ordered.

**Changes may occur in the number of notifications reported from day to day. This is due to ongoing maintenance and update of notification details as new information becomes available, or where discrepancies are detected through data quality assurance activities.

Contact tracing is underway for the nine new cases. Queensland Health will notify the community if any other public health alerts are required.

One of the confirmed Queensland cases is a staff member from an Ipswich pharmacy at Riverlink Shopping Centre. Nine fellow staff members are now in quarantine.

Contact tracing  is complete and the positive case had limited interactions. Hygiene practices and social distancing means customers who visited the pharmacy are considered at low risk.

Additional restrictions come into effect at midnight tonight for Queenslanders returning from Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW.

Under powers granted by the Public Health Act 2005, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has published a list of hotspots on the Queensland Health website: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/hotspots-covid-19

Queenslanders returning from hotspots will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

These published hotspots may be expanded or amended in the coming days.

The majority of cases are from patients who have travelled overseas, or have had direct contact with a confirmed case who had travelled overseas.

The number of confirmed cases we see each day is expected to vary as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 situation across the state.

We want everyone to know they can play their part to protect themselves and the more vulnerable in our community. Please follow the recommended advice from us and our federal counterparts in regards to social distancing, public gatherings and general wellbeing.

Critically, make sure you are practicing good hygiene and staying home, especially if you’re sick. Washing your hands properly and often is the gold standard of health advice that can help prevent viruses from entering your body.

A person is eligible for testing if they have a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms, and, in the last 14 days:

  • they were a close contact or a household contact of a confirmed case
  • they had been overseas, including on a cruise.

Testing is also possible for people who have a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms, and:

  • work in vulnerable settings such as healthcare, aged or residential care, military, correction facilities, detention centres and boarding schools
  • live in:
    • Brisbane (residents within the Metro North and Metro South Hospital and Health Service boundaries)
    • Gold Coast or
    • Cairns (the area bounded by and including Palm Cove to the north, Mareeba to the west, and Gordonvale to the south)
  • live in a First Nations community.

Queensland Health is urging anyone who meets this criteria for testing, to contact a doctor immediately.

Before your appointment, please call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel they can prepare for your visit.

While Easter is usually a time for public celebrations, gathering with family and friends, or for travelling, this year is different.

And it’s important we do Easter differently. This Easter needs to be spent in your home to protect your family and vulnerable Queenslanders.

We have all worked really hard to slow the spread, and that progress could be completely undone if we go out this Easter. We’ve seen this overseas, where festivals or public celebrations were the start of an outbreak that got out of control very quickly.

We can’t have that happen here.

We want to thank Queenslanders for adjusting to change, and for your patience and kindness during these tough times. We will get through this together.

The most up-to-date reliable information is available on the Queensland Health website at www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus


Updated Saturday, April 11 at 8.40am

New restrictions to tighten Queensland borders

Further restrictions are being put in place to tighten existing state border controls to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

From midnight on Good Friday (April 10) all Queenslanders returning home from interstate will require a new Queensland Entry Pass. All existing green entry and vehicle passes are void at 12.01am on Saturday, April 11.

Passes will be individually issued, and an application will be required for each person entering the State, including children. Online applications can be made at www.qld.gov.au/border-pass.

An exempt resident who arrives in Queensland must self-quarantine for fourteen days if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot area unless their travel was for an essential purpose.

There is no change for interstate freight transport services which will remain exempt.

The intent of the restrictions is to minimise social contact and non-essential travel to protect the health and safety of everyone in the community.


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

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COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

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COVID-19 update: May 16

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