In order to protect patients, staff and carers against the spread of COVID-19, the Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) has taken steps to restrict visitor numbers to its facilities. In the Eurobodalla, visitors to both Batemans Bay and Moruya District Hospitals will not be permitted until further notice, unless under exceptional circumstances in consultation with the General Manager of the facility. Meanwhile the District will be encouraging the use of mobile and digital technology by patients to maintain contact with loved ones. In other District health facilities, only one visitor at a time for no more than 30 minutes will be permitted, and a maximum of two visitors per day per person will be allowed until further notice. Meanwhile mental health facilities are restricted to no visitors, with each location providing extensive video contact for family members and carers. The steps are necessary in order to protect against the potential spread of COVID-19, and we appreciate the patience and understanding of the community during this time. SNSWLHD is urging anyone feeling unwell – even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose, scratchy throat cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, tiredness, loss of taste/smell, nausea, diarrhoea or muscle aches – to self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing, so cases in the community are identified as quickly as possible. Even if they test negative, they should remain in isolation for the full 14 days, and should be tested again if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. Guidance for self-isolation for close contacts is available at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/advicefor-contacts.aspx. The need for scheduled appointments across many of the District’s COVID-19 testing sites has been removed. Callers to the SNSWLHD 1800 999 880 COVID line will be provided with information on testing eligibility and clinic times and locations. These sites include Goulburn Base Hospital, Queanbeyan District Hospital, Eurobodalla Health Service (Moruya), South East Regional Hospital, Cooma District Hospital, Jindabyne Clinic and Yass District Hospital. Also included are the ‘Pop-up’ clinics at Hanging Rock, Merimbula and Crookwell. This information is also available at www.snswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au. A number of smaller COVID testing sites will still be by appointment only (Pambula Hospital, Bombala MPS, Eden, Perisher and Thredbo) – call 1800 999 880 (option 2). It remains essential that everyone maintains social distancing and good hygiene to minimise the risk of spread between people. There are steps we can take to protect ourselves and loved ones: - If you have even mild symptoms, a cold or cough, get tested and stay home until you’re cleared. - Keep your distance from others at all times even if you are well. - If you have been in Victoria, don’t mix with other people until two weeks has passed. People can unwittingly pass it to others if they are incubating the infection or have very mild symptoms, so we all need to be very careful and practise hand hygiene and maintain social distancing by keeping at least 1.5m away from other people. For the latest, up to date information head to: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
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