Fever clinics set up at two Northern NSW hospitals
FEVER clinics have been implemented at Lismore Base Hospital and Tweed Hospital to manage a possible outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Northern NSW.
Wayne Jones, chief executive at the Northern NSW Local Health District, confirmed the special areas were set up on Wednesday at both hospitals.
"We've created fever clinics at Lismore Base and the Tweed hospitals for those people with mild to moderate risk," he said.
"The fever clinics started (Wednesday) and it's important that we stress that it's not just for people to walk into, without any symptoms, because they will not be tested.
"These are for people who have symptoms, who will normally would present to an Emergency Department because they are sick, and we are just diverting them to anther area."
Mr Jones said those who were admitted at the fever clinics will be assessed by medical staff there, and have the appropriate testing done if they meet the criteria.
"Then, decisions will be made whether they need to be admitted into a hospital or, more than likely, as most of these cases, managed at home on self-isolation, pending confirmation of their test."
Mr Jones said he saw no valid reason for music festivals to be cancelled at this stage on the Northern Rivers.
Bluesfest during Easter and Splendour in the Grass in July are the next two big events coming to the area.
"At this point in time, through the Australian Public Health Coordinating Committee, there is no reason to cancel those events," Mr Jones said.
"They are monitoring this situation on a daily basis, as each day we need to review the guidelines and recommendations, but at this point in time there is no direction not to progress with those events, including Bluesfest."
The executive said those people planning to attend music festivals will be encouraged to consider practising good hygiene.
"Things like cleaning your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or an alcohol-based rub; apply good respiratory etiquette, by covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with tissues or a flexed elbow; avoid close contact with anyone with cold and flu-like symptoms, which is difficult in a crowded environment such as a major concert.
"But we are also asking people who may have cold and flu-like symptoms to consider self-isolating and getting tested before going, to confirm that they don't have it."
Mr Jones said the best thing that people can do to keep this under control is to remain calm. "The health organisations are well prepared to respond to a whole range of circumstances here,' he said.