Positive coronavirus test at ERH

By Riverine Herald

ECHUCA Regional Health has confirmed the region’s first positive coronavirus test, for a man in his 40s who lives in southern NSW.

ERH chief executive Nick Bush said the man had just returned from the US and had gone straight into self-managed isolation at his home before presenting at the hospital’s emergency department with an upper respiratory condition.

Mr Bush said he was tested at the hospital’s special facility set up in anticipation of the virus’ spread.

“The staff have been well prepared in managing these presentations and all care was taken for the patient and our team,” he added.

“The man is in good health and has returned to his home, where he will remain in isolation.

“The case will be now followed by the Victorian Department of Health to see if he has been in close contact with other people who may now be at risk of contracting the virus.”

Mr Bush said although there is discussion Victoria and NSW will be closing their borders he does not anticipate this will in any way affect the routine use of ERH and all its services by people in Moama and surrounding areas who have always used it.

“The cross-border situation does raise a few issues for the state departments of health with the pandemic but everyone in our area can be confident ERH will be there for them.”

The Victorian Health Department has said it is unable to provide precise details of where coronavirus cases have been identified as positive.

A spokesman said while it cannot provide exact locations it “is responding to cases as they are notified”.

“The public can be confident that all close contacts will be identified and responded to accordingly as required to protect public health,” he said.

“As part of our contract tracing, any public exposure sites are contacted and provided with advice about the transmission risks and any cleaning that may be required.

“The Department of Health and Human Services does not identify individual cases or their close contacts.

“DHHS also needs to ensure patient confidentiality and work to minimise stigmatisation and discrimination around COVID 19.”