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92.9fm Regional News

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Only one confirmed case of coronavirus in health district

One case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the region, but the health district is urging residents to stop spreading false rumours - especially on social media.

A Hunter New England Local Health District Spokesperson said it is providing care and support to one of the previously announced COVID-19 cases, a male in his 70s who recently returned from Italy.

"Health staff are undertaking daily wellness checks while he is in isolation at home and he is doing well," they said.

"His close contacts have been contacted and asked to self-isolate. They are being contacted every day by the public health unit to check that they are well.

"Any contact who develops COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the infection."

The spokesperson added that NSW Health is continuing to trace and respond to cases as they are diagnosed to slow any spread in the community.

"As has been occurring since the outbreak of COVID-19, and in line with national protocols, NSW Health promptly notifies the public of any locations, including on public transport, where there has been a risk of infection," they said.

"This is so members of the public can monitor their symptoms and seek medical assistance if they become unwell."

The spokesperson emphasised that the man diagnosed with COVID-19 and their close contacts are either being treated in the hospital or are in self-isolation to ensure there is no ongoing risk of infection to others in the community.

"Locations where these cases live, work or have visited do not pose any ongoing risk to the public," they said.

"Publishing private details, such as the location of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, is a breach of patient privacy and serves no public health benefit."

In recent weeks, HNELHD also confirmed that hospitals, including Tamworth and Armidale, are equipped to treat a person with COVID-19.

"Hunter New England Local Health District is reviewing and revising its pandemic plan in

response to COVID-19," a spokesperson said.

"As part of this, there is enhanced triaging in our Emergency Departments, with broad screening of all presenting patients. EDs are also undertaking random drills to ensure staff readiness."


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