Thursday, 26 March 2020
Late yesterday (Wednesday, 25 March) I was informed by the NSW Police (again, not from Hunter New England Health) of two more confirmed coronavirus cases within the Northern Tablelands. This takes the total number of cases in the Northern Tablelands to four – with the other two in Inverell.
The two new cases are an elderly couple from the Glen Innes Severn local government area, near Emmaville, who recently returned from a voyage on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
The couple has been isolated since their return to the district, pending their test result, which came back yesterday. NSW Police have been in contact with the couple.
Yesterday, as you’d be aware, I took aim at Hunter New England Health for keeping the public in the dark about confirmed coronavirus cases and their locations. This contempt for our communities is disgraceful and very unhelpful at a time when anxiety levels are at an all-time high as we struggle to battle this world pandemic.
I asked Health Minister Brad Hazard to intervene and last night I received some very positive news for our region and everyone else across the State from the NSW Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kerry Chant.
From today, NSW Health will publish on its public website a map of the State with every single local government area marked and the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in each. This will be updated every day to ensure all of us has one source of trusted, accurate and detailed information from which to refer.
This essentially bypasses the obstinate Hunter New England Health, ensuring we have one central source of data.
I want to thank the community for strongly backing in this push to have better information provided to the community. Now everyone will know the facts and there will be no need to rely on social media rumour mills to know when and where cases are confirmed.
The website is www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-latest.aspx
Lastly, as of 12.01am this morning the Queensland Government’s border restrictions came into force. This means all arrivals into Queensland must self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have an exemption.
Exemptions will be made for residents of all our border communities – Mungindi, Boggabilla, Toomelah and Bonshaw – as well as for urgent medical appointments, health service workers, transport and freight industry, education, repair and maintenance crews, mining energy and agricultural industry workers and produce.
Those needing to enter Queensland should obtain a border pass from the Queensland government here https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass?fbclid=IwAR0X-uFLupsu1mh7BvR6QyBQj5zw_zkRXl7m4OIW_rkWD8uLDA5IyPqUPQY
That’s all I have for now. I will provide another update for the community the same time tomorrow.
Until then, take care and stay safe.