COVID-19 cases remain at 56 in Northern NSW.
COVID-19 cases remain at 56 in Northern NSW. Marc Stapelberg

20 per cent increase in coronavirus testing in Northern NSW

THE total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District remains at 56.

One COVID-19 patient is being cared for in hospital, none in ICU. Of these 56 cases, 45 are recovered. Cases by likely source of infection:

  • Overseas or interstate acquired: 53
  • Contact of a confirmed case or in a known cluster: 2
  • Contact not identified: 1
  • Under investigation: 0.

In the last week, the number of tests conducted in Northern NSW Local Health District has jumped from 4247 to 5268, an increase of 1021, or more than 20 per cent.

"Thank you to everyone who has come forward recently to get tested," health district chief executive Wayne Jones said.

"It's really pleasing to see people taking responsibility for their health and for the health of those around them, by not leaving anything to chance. NSW Health is urging people with symptoms, including mild symptoms, to be tested to ensure as many cases of COVID-19 in the community are identified as quickly as possible."

"Anyone who has any respiratory symptoms at all, from a runny nose or a sore throat, to a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, should go and get tested, no matter where they live."

Mr Jones said that while the number of cases is moving in the right direction, it's not yet time to pull back in being vigilant about reducing community transmission.

"We continue to see reports of people being issued with infringement notices for disregarding social distancing rules, which undermines the combined hard work of the rest of our community."

"I encourage people to apply their common sense and to continue being cautious as we start to see some of the restrictions being eased."


Gradual resumption of some elective surgery

NNSWLHD has met with clinicians to plan the gradual resumption of some elective surgery, following national and state guidance.

"We'll be first attending to those more pressing category 2 (semi-urgent) cases, with the view to provide some selected category 3 (non-urgent) surgery and procedures over the coming month," Mr Jones said.

"We'll be closely monitoring any risk to patients and staff, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies over this period.

"Continuing review of elective surgery will occur to ensure there is capacity across hospitals to manage any changes in COVID-19 demand."