Why we’ve had no COVID-19 deaths in our region
IF YOU live in Northern NSW, you are living in one of two regions in the state yet to suffer a fatality due to COVID-19.
Aside from the Far West, where there have only been two confirmed cases, Northern NSW is the only district that has come through the pandemic without a death so far.
It has been a matter of good fortune and expert treatment, according to Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones.
"I think it's a combination of very good luck and some expert care," Mr Jones said.
"I am in no way detracting from local health districts where those deaths have occurred.
"Recovery has much to do with a patient's capacity to respond to the level of care provided.
"We have been fortunate not to have a high volume of very sick patients."
Mr Jones said local patients were from a range of age categories.
"Those who have been quite unwell have been in the older category of patients," he said.
He praised all staff, including support staff who helped to care for patients in isolation, and made a special note of cleaners who were essential in preventing the spread of the virus.
It has been four weeks since the latest confirmed case in the region.
Mr Jones agrees it is time to lift restrictions in a staged manner, however, has stressed some precautions must remain in place.
"You can see the anxiety has dropped, what has crept in is a degree of complacency," Mr Jones said.
"We still need to emphasise to people even though they can meet in groups of 10, they need to be social distancing.
"It's imperative people get tested if they feel unwell. It's that one unknown case that creates a spread in the community."