20 July 2020

Batemans Bay COVID-19 outbreak a threat to Canberrans

| Kim Treasure
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Batemans Bay Soldiers Club

Batemans Bay Soldiers Club. Photo: File.

Health authorities are warning a COVID-19 hotspot at Batemans Bay could pose a threat to the ACT, with more than 60 Canberrans thought to have visited the site of an outbreak last week.

Hundreds of people are being told to self-isolate, with the number of people infected from a COVID-19 outbreak at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club growing to eight.

The club closed on Friday night after two tourists who dined there earlier in the week tested positive.

Initially, health workers were contact-tracing anyone who dined at the club between 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm on Monday, 13 July.

However, the advice now is that anyone who visited the club last Monday, or Wednesday through to Friday, must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested. Even if the test is negative, the isolation must continue for 14 days.

If you visited on Tuesday, 14 July you should monitor for symptoms and seek testing if symptoms develop.

READ ALSO Tourists test positive to COVID-19

The change in advice is due to the identification of four new cases linked to the club on Sunday: one staff member, two cases who dined at the club and one case who is a close contact of the previously reported cases.

Four cases, all members of the same Sydney family, who dined at the club had previously been reported.

Only one of the eight cases is a local resident of Batemans Bay.

Warning sign in Batemans Bay

Warning signs at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club. Photo: Kim Treasure.

However, a public health spokesperson said others in the community should watch for respiratory symptoms or fever and, if they occur, isolate and get tested for COVID-19 right away.

To ensure people can get tested quickly, Southern NSW Local Health District has arranged a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at the Hanging Rock Oval Car Park (near the function centre) on Beach Road, Batemans Bay. The clinic will be open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm until further notice.

COVID-19 testing clinics

ACT COVID-19 testing clinics. Source: ACT Health.

Anyone feeling unwell – even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat – should self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing, so cases in the community are identified as quickly as possible.

The need for scheduled appointments across many of the District’s COVID-19 testing sites has been removed.

Callers to the Southern NSW Local Health District 1800 999 880 COVID-19 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 Malua Bay, Hanging Rock, Merimbula and Crookwell.

A number of smaller COVID-19 testing sites will still be by appointment only (Pambula Hospital, Bombala MPS, Eden, Perisher and Thredbo).

Original Article published by Kim Treasure on About Regional.

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