Testing for COVID-19 has now been made available to all residents in the Byron Shire. This was announced today by the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) Wayne Jones in a joint press conference with Richmond Police District Commander, Superintendent Toby Lindsay in Lismore.
This follows the recent opening of a COVID-19 testing clinic at the Byron Hospital last week for backpackers and travellers.
‘We have expanded the testing criteria for backpackers and residents in Byron Bay, as an area that may be at elevated risk of community transmission,’ said Wayne Jones, Chief Executive of the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD).
‘We are now extending this expanded testing to any residents of the Byron Local Government Area (LGA). This measure acknowledges the transient nature of the population, and the significant proportion of people who travel to Byron Bay for work but live outside the town centre. By extending this testing we will increase our likelihood of picking up any cases of community transmission in the area.’
If you have a fever or acute respiratory infection such as a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat and are a resident within the Byron LGA you are being encouraged to be tested for COVID-19.
‘We encourage anyone who can’t get in to see their GP over the weekend to present to the clinic for testing,’ said Mr Jones.
Message stays the same – stay home
Reiterating the stay home message that both the health and the police departments have been consistently putting out Richmond Police District Commander, Superintendent Toby Lindsay said, ‘Please stay home – it’s very simple, it’s vital. Please don’t travel for the Easter long weekend, and if you do have to leave home, please make sure it is only for one of those key essential purposes.
‘The Northern Rivers and For North Coast communities have done an exceptional job in practising social distancing,’ he said but reminded people that the police will be out in force over the Easter weekend.
‘NSW Police will be out in force over the Easter long weekend as is normal, we’ll also be taking particular attention to our coastal communities,’ he said.
‘NSW Police are specifically looking at accommodation areas, as has been mentioned for the past week or so there are concerns of holiday makers coming to our area. The key message is please don’t, now is not the time to have a holiday on the North Coast.’
Have symptoms? Get tested
All the COVID-19 clinics will remain open over the Easter long weekend. Easter Long Weekend clinic hours are:
Byron Central Hospital: open 10am–4pm
The Tweed Hospital: open 10am–6pm
Lismore Base Hospital: open 10am–6pm
Grafton Base Hospital: open 10am–6pm.
For advice and information about COVID-19 visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx.
Residents of NSW can also call the 24-hour COVID-19 hotline on 13 77 88 for advice and support on non-health related enquiries.
For health related advice, please continue to liaise with your GP, or phone HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.