Seven more diagnosed with COVID-19 in region, no cases in Hilltops

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Riverina has jumped to 20 overnight.

The rise equates to seven more people being diagnosed in the region since the update provided by health officials on Thursday.

There's been one more person in the Wagga local government area (LGA) confirmed with the virus. Two more people are now known to be suffering COVID-19 in each of the Albury, Griffith and Federation regions.

It brings the running tally of cases in Albury to six, four each in Wagga and Federation, three in Griffith, two in Greater Hume and one in the Cootamundra-Gundagai region.

"All cases notified were diagnosed after travelling overseas or being in contact with a confirmed case," the Murrumbidgee local Health District said in the Friday update.

"Patients who have experienced mild to moderate symptoms are in self-isolation to ensure they do not transmit the virus. They are being managed at home with the support of their GP and a daily check up with local health services. Those who are more unwell may be admitted to an appropriate local hospital.

"Australia has very strong privacy laws which do not allow the release of individual personal and health information to the public."

Local health officials on Thursday were preparing for the number of cases in the district to double every three days.

Those presenting now are suffering mild to moderate symptoms, however within a couple of weeks the health system is likely to encounter people in a worsening condition.

"At the moment we've got people with mild to moderate symptoms but we know that in the coming weeks, and probably two very short weeks, we are going to see people who are sicker and sicker," MLHD's chief executive Jill Ludford said.

"If we do nothing, we will get more and more sick people. So this is an absolute plea to everyone of you to please follow the restrictions that have been put forward by our government.

"That means staying at home. When I drove down Baylis Street the other day, why were all those people out as if it's business as usual? People need to be at home unless they have essential things they are doing such as [grocery] shopping or going to the doctor."

Those diagnosed so far are being treated at home while adhering to a 14-day isolation period, Ms Ludford said.

The MLHD will trace the indoor places each patient has recently attended for more than two hours, and will contact anyone who has had more than 15 minutes close contact with the confirmed cases.

As at 8pm Wednesday night, there were 1219 confirmed cases in NSW, including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, sore throat and dry cough. Symptoms will generally appear 3-4 days after exposure to the virus but can be up to 14 days later.

Members of the public are advised to minimise travel, increase personal awareness around hand hygiene and practice social distancing.

Anyone who believes they have may have contracted the COVID-19 virus (ie: who are returned travellers, or who have come in contact with a confirmed case and are showing symptoms: fever, sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath) are advised in the first instance to:

  • Call the free-call coronavirus hotline 1800 022 222 and receive advise on the best course of action depending on your symptoms and risks. Medical staff will direct people to the nearest hospital or respiratory clinic, or advise them to stay home and self-monitor, or contact their GP, or
  • Contact your GP to arrange an appointment (let GP practice know in advance if you have symptoms) or
  • Call the Murrumbidgee COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 831 099 for assessment (7.00 am - 11.00 pm)

Those suffering acute, cold, flu-like symptoms who have recently returned from travelling or are a contact of a confirmed case are urged to be tested for the virus.

To do this, call HealthDirect on 1800 0222 222 to be triaged and advised by a nurse over the phone. Alternatively, contact your GP to book an appointment and let them know in advance if you have symptoms - these might include fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath.