Is another shutdown coming?

Acting Chief Executive, Central Coast Local Health District, Kate Lyons

Angst is increasing across the Central Coast over the risk of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in NSW and the potential for a second, broad-based shutdown.

As a region, the Central Coast has weathered the coronavirus pandemic extremely well to date, but with new hot spots emerging in Melbourne and Sydney over recent weeks, complacency could be a killer, says Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch.

Some targeted measures have already been reintroduced.

In particular, restrictions on hotels will tighten up again from July 17 with new measures to cap visitors inside venues at 300, scale back group bookings from a maximum of 20 down to 10 and record visitor details for contact tracing.

The tough new compliance measures will also see dedicated hygiene marshalls patrol venues with a capacity of greater than 250 whenever they are open and smaller hotels with a capacity of fewer than 350 must have a marshall employed in peak periods.

“We’ve been very lucky on the Coast, with only 117 cases recorded during the peak periods of March and April,” Crouch said.

“We know most of these came from repeople returning from overseas.

“But we can’t take that for granted – these new clusters are a big wake up call.

“I have every faith in our Health District but the responsibility (for keeping COVID-19 at bay) comes back to the community.

“We have to do the right thing; it’s not worth risking infection just to jump a queue.”

Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) confirmed this week there have been no new cases of Covid-19 locally in the past month but reinforced the need for continued vigilance.

CCLHD Acting Chief Executive, Kate Lyons, said recent re-emergences of the virus elsewhere in NSW were a timely reminder of how easily COVID-19 is spread.

“We have been through a lot as a community this year already – fire, floods and now the COVID-19 pandemic – but we have come a long way and we have done this together,” she said.

“Easing of restrictions continues to be a good sign of the progress we all continue to make.

“However, this also means it is more important than ever to remain vigilant, especially with the situation in Victoria.

Lyons emphasized the importance of maintaining physical distancing of 1.5 metres and for people to get tested if they are unwell, even if the symptoms are mild.

“[Testing] is particularly important because like other diseases, you can be infectious just before you get symptoms.

“Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is about taking care of ourselves and each other.

“It is a community effort.”

Meanwhile, health authorities have urged anyone who attended the Crossroads Hotel at Casula between July 3 and 10 or the Picton Hotel on July 4, 9 or 10 to get tested immediately, even if displaying no symptoms.

Terry Collins

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