Haddington Nursing Home in Tenterfield
Haddington Nursing Home in Tenterfield

Local health boss praises nursing homes for locking down

NORTHERN NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Wayne Jones has applauded aged care facilities in the area for taking swift actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, while the number of confirmed cases continues to rise.

Three more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Northern NSW, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 25 as of Thursday night.

In Tenterfield, Haddington Nursing Home and Millrace Hostel were closed to visitors in a precautionary lockdown on Wednesday.

Director of Nursing Frances Overell stressed that there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at these facilities, and it was a move to reinforce the health and safety of staff and residents in aged care.

“I would encourage other aged care facilities to follow their lead,” Mr Jones said.

“The aged are clearly the most vulnerable in our community.

“We need to do everything we can to limit the risk of transmission.

“If it’s an inconvenience for families of residents in aged care, it’s an inconvenience we need to take to protect the elderly.”

Mr Jones said there was enough protective equipment in hospitals for now, but medical staff were being conservative in their use of protective gear.

“There is no disputing we need to be careful with how we are using it,” Mr Jones said.

“I am confident the government is sourcing more PPE to ensure all clinicians have an adequate amount.”

Meanwhile, local hospitals are seeing less patients with injuries, as local sport is put on hold in response to the pandemic.

Mental health units are tending to patients remotely when possible, and more staff have been mobilised to community mental health care.