COVID-19 restrictions impact Western NSW LHD hospitals, services | Western Advocate

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Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan said the region’s health services will continue operating as usual under new COVID-19 restrictions, but explained they will force some changes for staff and patients. The restrictions, announced by the NSW Premier and Health Minister, were introduced across regional areas of the state on Saturday and remain in place for at least the next two weeks, with large portions of the state now in lockdown. Largely aligning with restrictions across the general public, Mr McLachlan said the changes will also mean the return of caps on visitors at aged-care facilities across the region. “In our district we have also decided to limit visitors to aged-care residents in our [multi-purpose facilities] to essential care providers only. MPS visitors should talk to their local health service manager before visiting, to avoid any confusion,” he said. “These orders have been made to prevent the escalation on the COVID-19 threat … and to ensure the safety of everyone in NSW. [They] have some impact on our local services and we’re taking them very seriously. “Everyone in indoor, non-residential settings must wear a face mask. That includes all our hospitals, multi-purpose services, community and dental health services and other local health district workplaces. “We will continue to conduct temperature checking and screening on everyone entering our services. “We hope that these are temporary measures, but for now our number one concern is to keep our health facilities safe for patients, residents, staff and visitors.” Mr McLachlan also said the government’s stay-at-home orders extend to anyone in the western region who has returned from the areas now in lockdown – Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. “Those people must stay at home for 14 days from the time they left those locations, except for limited essential reasons,” he said. “A range of other measures are in place across the whole of NSW and I encourage everyone to go to nsw.gov.au and ensure they understand those restrictions. “I can’t emphasise it strongly enough that this is the time for all to make sure we’re practising the best possible hand cleaning, maintaining physical distancing, checking in and out of venues and organising a vaccination appointment if you haven’t already.” Mr McLachlan also cautiously welcomed news that subsequent sewage testing in Bourke had not detected further evidence of COVID-19 after a sample taken last week indicated a person in the area recently had the virus. “We are still encouraging everyone in the community, and recent visitors, to be alert for any cold-like symptoms, even if they’re mild, and to be tested if they occur,” he said. All testing locations in NSW are listed at www.nsw.gov.au, for more information on COVID-19 vaccination go to www.healthdirect.gov.au. We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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