NO HOAX: NNSWLHD chief Wayne Jones urges the community to maintain social distancing and to only believe credible scientific sources as COVID-19 restrictions continue. Photo show Mr Jones with Richmond Police District Inspector Cameron Lindsay at an earlier announcement. Photo: Alison Paterson
NO HOAX: NNSWLHD chief Wayne Jones urges the community to maintain social distancing and to only believe credible scientific sources as COVID-19 restrictions continue. Photo show Mr Jones with Richmond Police District Inspector Cameron Lindsay at an earlier announcement. Photo: Alison Paterson

2 things that could lead to coronavirus spike in our region

CONSPIRACY theories and complacency are the biggest risks to overcoming COVID-19, according to a local health boss.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said people assuming they cannot catch COVID-19 and people assuming that once they have tested negative they don't require retesting are real issues, along with the misguided souls who subscribe to conspiracy theories rather than face up to the realities of the pandemic situation.

After the Northern NSW Local Health District confirmed a woman who flew into the region from Melbourne tested positive for COIVD-19 Mr Jones again urged anyone from Victoria or the Sydney hot spots to come forward for testing, and anyone with even a tickly throat to get tested.

"There are sadly pockets of people who reject the science behind this despite the strength of the science," he said.

"I feel very concerned and worried for those people and people and families with a death associated with COVID-19, having to read material saying it does not exist, it's only as bad as the flu.

"I hope these people who are not being vigilant, that none of their relatives get this virus."

Mr Jones said the recent news of eight infections in southern tourist-mecca of Batemans Bay, shows just how vulnerable northern NSW residents are.

He said any assumptions of immunity, be it wishful thinking or barmy conspiracy theories, are unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst.

"We don't want anyone to risk their life or comprise the safety of our community so we continue to refer people to the COVID-19 information on the NSW Health website," he said.

"At the moment we are concerned with the second wave of the pandemic and recognise one of our biggest challenges as a health organisation is the copious amounts of misinformation on social media and the pocket of people who for whatever reason assume they are protected."

Mr Jones said as of July 20, 53 people in the Northern NSW Local Health District had recovered from COVID-19.

"One person is in isolation and the other two are showing no symptoms but reporting they still feel not recovered," he said.

"This is a long game, some of the experts in the field think we will not be COVID-free until a reliable vaccine developed and it is pushed down into the community."


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