Batemans Bay COVID-19 sufferers still considered 'active'

The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt among the original cluster associated in mid-July with the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club.

A spokesperson for Southern NSW Local Health District said the three Eurobodalla Shire residents associated with the club were not infectious, but had not fully recovered.

*Eurobodalla has six active cases, with three cases related to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club having been released from isolation and are no longer infectious, however still have lingering symptoms," the spokesperson said on August 11.

"In the last 24 hours (as @ 1400 11 August 2020), three new cases have been confirmed in the Eurobodalla.

"The cases are all known close of contacts of a recently identified case in Batemans Bay.

"One case is linked to Batemans Bay High School, with another case linked to Batemans Bay Public School.

"The third case is not linked to either school.

"Both Batemans Bay High School and Batemans Bay Public School have each had a confirmed case of COVID-19 attend whilst infectious. Both schools are closed to enable cleaning to take place.

"The two cases did not attend any before or after school care services or catch any school buses."

The spokesperson said there was a total of 59 reported cases of COVID-19 in the district since January 27.

Bega Valley: 5131 tests and 9 cases.

Eurobodalla: 8206 tests and 15 cases, 6 of those active.

The spokesperson said the public health unit was working closely with Batemans Bay High and Public Schools.

"Staff and students who attend the schools and are identified as a close contact will receive an SMS informing them of this status," he said.

"This SMS notification for students will also be sent to parents and carers. Close contacts will also be provided with additional information about testing and isolation.

"If your child is identified as a close contact and you are unable to isolate from your child, you will be required to self-isolate for the same 14-day period, along with anyone in the household who is unable to isolate from the close contact.

"All members of a household with a close contact are requested to seek testing."

He said those identified as a casual contact would be contacted directly by the school and advised to watch for symptoms, but would not need to isolate.

"The Public Health Unit investigates all cases of COVID-19 to determine who may be at risk, and these people are contacted and provided relevant information.

The department said isolation was mandatory for anyone identified as a close contact (not a casual contact) of a case.

"Anyone directed to undertake a 14-day self-isolation period must stay in isolation for the full time, even if they test negative," the spokesperson said.

"Early testing may not detect an infection, and release from self-isolation based on a negative test could allow an infectious person to infect others in the community. Most people who are infected and develop symptoms will do so within 14 days of exposure.

"For further advice, call SNSWLHD 1800 999 880 COVID line to speak with a registered nurse who can provide advice relevant to your particular situation.

"You may experience a delay during peak times, with an option to leave your details for a nurse to return your call. If you have concerns while waiting for call-back, please isolate until you have spoken with a nurse who can advise you on the appropriate action to take."

Eurobodalla COVID-19 Testing Clinic Information

Southern NSW Local Health District has stepped up testing throughout the Eurobodalla, with the Batemans Bay Hanging Rock COVID-19 Pop-up Clinic (near the Marine Rescue Building), open from 9:00am to 5:00pm until Sunday.

Meanwhile COVID-19 testing is continuing at Moruya Hospital (Moruya Pathways building, right hand side of the hospital) daily, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Visitors to both Batemans Bay and Moruya District Hospitals will not be permitted until further notice, unless under exceptional circumstances in consultation with the General Manager of the facility.

COVID-19 testing Symptoms and Clinics

SNSWLHD released the following statement:

SNSWLHD is urging anyone feeling unwell - even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose, scratchy or sore throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhoea or muscle aches - to self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing, so cases in the community are identified as quickly as possible.

There is no longer a requirement to schedule appointments at most of the District's COVID-19 testing sites. Callers to the SNSWLHD 1800 999 880 COVID line will be provided with information on testing eligibility and clinic times and locations.

It remains essential that everyone maintains social distancing and good hygiene to minimise the risk of spread between people. People can unwittingly pass COVID-19 to others if they are incubating the virus or have very mild symptoms.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19:

- If you are unwell, stay in, get tested and isolate.

- Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.

- Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

- Wear a mask in situations where you cannot physically distance.

- For the latest, up to date information head

to: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

NSW Health's daily COVID 19 update is released here.

This story 'Lingering symptoms': Batemans Bay COVID sufferers feeling effects weeks later first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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