Premier Expands Testing and Regional Funding

Filed in Recent News by April 16, 2020

TESTING for Covid-19 is expanding and the Premier has called on people who are vulnerable or work with vulnerable people to come forward for testing, no matter how mild the symptoms.

“New South Wales has one of the highest rates in the world (of testing) which is why we’ve been able to contain the spread to an extent and I want to commend all of our officials for really being quite far sited initially from around Australia Day and putting those processes in place and I also want to thank the community for responding positively to the messages we’ve been giving for who should get tested,” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“In one day were saw the testing rates yesterday go from just over 1,000 to over 3,000 again, we want to get that up to 4,000 we’re nearly there and thank to everyone whose come forward,” she said.

Dr Kerry Chant, chief medical officer further stressed the mildness of symptoms in some cases may simply be a scratchy throat and said people should assume they have Covid-19 until it can be excluded.  

“At the moment we want targeted testing and in the end we want to lift testing to have high rates of surveillance testing,” said Dr Chant.

“We will get to the point where the general population needs to get tested, but we are trying to target the community I guess where to get more information to the community to really prompt that real health seeking behaviour,” she said.

“If you are working with vulnerable people please be aware that Covid-19 can be a very very mild disease so if you have any symptoms at all err on the side of caution get tested, do not present for work,” she said.

“As I’ve indicated the disease can often be very mild, so I would also like to extend my appreciation for those that have heard the message and actually come forward with often very minimal symptoms that actually helps us with containment and identifying those clusters and is essentially critical to our response, so thank you,” said Dr Chant.

Schools

The Premier said the first two weeks of term two will be the same as the final weeks of term one, however from week three they would like more face to face teaching for students and they are working through with educators to determine how to get more children back to school “in a reasonable and appropriate way.”

Regional Funding

The Government announced in excess of $150million in funding for the following areas:

  • $100 million for forestry estate in regional and rural areas to replant after the bushfires
  • $25 million regional councils on showgrounds
  • $20 million aboriginal housing
  • $9.5 million hospitals
  • $9 million to the customer service cluster – including court houses and correctional facilities

 Health Update

  • 11 new cases
  • 3200 people tested yesterday
  • 26 deaths – none in the last 24 hours
  • 207 people in hospital
  • 26 people in ICU
  • 19 people ventilated

Police Update

  • 550 Australians will be released from hotel quarantine today
  • 15 additional tickets non-isolation, including one couple who allegedly drove hundreds of kilometres from Victoria into New South Wales to recycle cans.

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