COVID-19 update – Mar 16, 2020

Dr Andrew MontagueDr Andrew Montague, Chief Executive Central Coast Local Health District. Archive image. CCN

[Central Coast] As part of CCN’s community service, we’ll be providing a regular update on Covid-19 news and events here on the Coast to keep you as informed as we can.

Published at 2020, March 16
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Firstly, just a quick update on numbers. As of 1 pm today, there 298 confirmed cases in Australia and five deaths from COVID-19.

In NSW there were 171 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – 31 in the last 24 hours which is the largest daily increase so far.

State Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was likely we would see an exponential increase in cases in the next few weeks.

There are now close to 2000 cases under investigation. To put that in context, there have been over 25,000 people in NSW tested and cleared.

As of yesterday there were now four deaths due to covid19 confirmed in NSW

Here on the Central Coast there have now been 2 confirmed cases of the virus – both of whom are being supported by health authorities at home, in isolation and both are reportedly doing well.

Let’s cross now to David Abrahams who spoke earlier this afternoon with Andrew Montague, Chief Executive of Central Coast Local Health District.

Ok, now, here’s a few other important notices:

You’ll recall the Prime Minister announced a few weeks back that the Federal Government had activated the Australian health sector emergency response plan.

Three immediate things this included was to:

  1. Impose a mandatory self-isolation requirement on all international arrivals to Australia
  2. Ban all cruise ships from foreign ports from arriving at Australian ports; and finally 
  3. To cancel all non-essential static gatherings of more than 500 people.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard was subsequently given powers to execute these measures here in NSW – there are penalties if these directives are ignored.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today that police can force people to stay home amid new coronavirus self-isolation guidelines

Static gatherings however do not at this stage include train stations, shopping centres and markets, or schools. 

Yesterday, the Federal Government then launched its Coronavirus (COVID-19) campaign – information on that is available at the web address shown below []

As part of this the Department has also released an online Infection Control Training Module entitled, “How to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID–19“. 

NSW Health today announced that the NSW Government lowering the age pharmacists can administer flu jabs to children from 16 years to 10 years. 

Minister Hazzard said that while the flu vaccine won’t combat COVID-19, it will help reduce the severity and spread of flu, which can lower a person’s immunity and make them susceptible to other illnesses.

Local Health has also reminded residents that online grocery delivery services are available in most areas – this notice follows a rush on supermarkets for toilet paper, sanitised handwash and other supplies.

There has been further panic shopping today and authorities continue to advise everybody to remain calm.

RSL NSW has cancelled all public Anzac Day commemoration services statewide.

And finally, just updating a few sporting cancellations:

  • Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed that the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 regular season, and the Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final scheduled for this weekend will go ahead, but with all matches to be played behind closed doors and with no fans permitted to attend. So that includes the Amriners game that was scheduled for CC Stadium this Friday evening.
  • NSW Basketball has cancelled all representative matches until further notice – we understand that includes all Crusaders matches, but we’ll try and confirm that shortly.
  • Cycling Australia has cancelled the Australian Track Championships in Brisbane later, where a number of our cycling stars were to compete later this month unfortunately.
  • The Council’s Flavour by the Sea
  • The NAB Central Coast Italian Festival will be postponed to a date to be advised
  • And finally A Capella in the Valley, that was scheduled for April 5 has also now been cancelled.

Thank you for joining us, we’ll be back tomorrow for further updates.

Please check the NSW Health website for further information as well as our website and facebook page for further coronavirus news and local health and event updates.