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A plea for social distancing

Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) has pleaded calls for locals within the District, especially our youth, to adhere to social distancing measures to help slow the spread of the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Social distancing means reducing the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another, while not always possible, keeping at least 1.5 metres away from other people.

Dr Anthony Stevenson, local GP anaesthetist at Queanbeyan Hospital and Chair of the Medical Staff Executive Council for the District, says when social distancing is combined with good personal hygiene measures the spread of a pandemic through the community can be slowed. 

“It seems the message just isn’t getting through to our teenagers, who don’t realise their actions will put lives at risk. Keeping at least 1.5 metres away from each other, helps protect the most vulnerable members of the community and reduces the impact of the pandemic on essential, life-saving health services,” Dr Stevenson said.

“There are many actions individuals, employers and organisations can take now to promote social distancing and help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in our community:

  • Stay at home unless absolutely necessary
  • Cloud not crowd – stay connected with family, friends and work colleagues through phone, email and social media.
  • Stop shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting.
  • Encourage flexible work/learning arrangements and encourage staff to stay home if
  • Maintain a high standard of regular cleaning.
  • Insist on frequent washing of hands and use of hand sanitisers.

“We can all play a part in slowing the spread of the virus by reducing contact between people unless absolutely necessary, especially those who may be more vulnerable or susceptible to the illness because of age or weakened immunity.”

Anyone who has respiratory symptoms or fever, or show signs of flu like symptoms, and who are at risk of COVID-19, for example because they were in contact with a COVID-19 case, or have returned from overseas in the 14 days before onset of symptoms, should:

  • call the SNSWLHD Central Intake Service 1800 312 248 (option 1), where people will be triaged and if testing is warranted, will be directed to an assessment centre based on location
  • contact your GP to arrange an appointment and let them know in advance if you have symptoms

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Last updated: 20 November 2020