Health officials are warning East Gippslanders they must redouble their commitment to staying home and practising social distancing in order to combat the spread of Coronavirus over the Easter holiday.
East Gippsland health providers are hoping that people follow the direction of state authorities and that there is a complete absence of traveller and holiday makers over the coming week.
Victoria Police and the state’s Chief Health Officer have both urged Victorians to stay home this Easter, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to regional areas where smaller health systems do not have the resources to cope with a surge of people contracting the disease.
“If you don’t have to leave home, please don’t leave home,” Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said this week.
“We certainly don’t want people going to communities and causing concern because they are not following the directives that we’ve laid out.”
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) CEO Robyn Hayles said this week that despite a recent slow-down in the rate of new COVID-19 cases, the health service continues to prepare for any break out of community transmission infections in the area.
“How many people are impacted by this disease is up to the people of this community,” Hayles said. “The threat of Coronavirus in East Gippsland is as grave today as it has been since the beginning of this crisis. But, we know that by staying home, and by practising social distancing and vigilant hygiene, we have the power to stop Coronavirus from overrunning our community, so that’s what we must do.”
Hayles reminded the community that BRHS is here for you if you have emergency care needs, but urged people to stay away from the hospital if their care needs were not urgent, or if they were considering visiting.
Chair of the BRHS Board of Management, Peter Murphy, said that locals and visitors alike must follow the clear and simple directions of health authorities.
Those directions are:
- Stay home whenever possible.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes in the crook of your elbow.
- No unnecessary travel.
“We understand how lovely East Gippsland can be in Easter and what a great time some families and friends have getting together,” Murphy said. “However we really hope people are getting the state’s directions and leaving the unnecessary get-together until next Easter.”
“BRHS staff are doing a great job at ensuring patients that need care now receive it, while continuing to prepare and plan for any increases in COVID demand. We ask you to help them by staying home”
Murphy said that by staying at home this Easter, people would help restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
“This will mean that fewer people in your town, in your street, and in your family, will contract COVID-19 and get sick. And it will mean that BRHS and health services in country Victoria will be better able to treat those people that need help.”
For the latest information and directives relating to Coronavirus in Victoria, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus