COVID cases continue to rise

Another two people in the Edward River region have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 this week.

It brings the total number of active cases of the virus in the region to 36, based on yesterday’s figures.

In neighbouring Murray River Council, cases have increased by nine — from 48 to 57.

In its weekly report issued Monday evening, Murrumbidgee Local Health District said there were 4175 active cases of COVID-19 across the entire health district.

It is an increase of nearly 3000 cases, from 1271 active cases in MLHD last Tuesday.

Twenty-three people across the district are being cared for in hospital. Four of those are in ICU, two of whom are ventilated.

This week’s figures bring the total number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases since July 1, 2021 to 5712.

As case numbers grow across the region, MLHD strongly encourages people to take every reasonable precaution to protect themselves and their families and reduce the risk against the virus.

This includes being vaccinated if you are not already, and getting the booster shot if eligible.

The Deniliquin Respiratory Clinic is rolling out a ‘‘huge booster program’’, according to practice manager Sarah Campbell.

‘‘We’re booking in for adults now,’’ she said.

The clinic is booked out to February 1, and is encouraging people to keep an eye on when they will need their booster or when children might need their first or second dose as school resumes.

Ms Campbell strongly urges anyone with children eligible for a COVID vaccine to speak with their GP if they have any questions.

In MLHD 97.1 per cent of people over 16 and 81.4 per cent of people aged 12-15 have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The numbers for Edward River local government area are still unknown due to an administrative error which saw the reported numbers at a lower than estimated rate.

It is believed to be on par with the Murray River LGA, which has a rate of more than 95 per cent for first and second doses.

Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are now available for people aged 18 and over who had their second dose at least four months ago.

The health district ‘‘strongly recommends’’ that people aged 12 years and over who are severely immunocompromised have a third primary dose of vaccine from two months after their second dose.

COVID-19 testing remains available five days a week in Deniliquin — Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am at the MLHD drive up clinic at Deniliquin Hospital, and at the Respiratory Clinic on other weekdays.

NSW Health is prioritising PCR testing that is clinically urgent — for hospital patients, healthcare workers, household contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, people with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have had a positive RAT test, people who have been asked by NSW Health to get tested, and emerging priorities such as aged care residents and staff.

Testing for travel is not advised at MLHD clinics, with an expected wait time of more than 72 hours.

For those who have tested positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen or PCR test, MLHD offers the following advice:

● Self-isolate at home for seven days from the date you got tested, even if you are fully vaccinated.

● Report your positive RAT result to Service NSW through its app.

● You no longer have to confirm a RAT with a PCR test unless you are pregnant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, work in high risk setting, have an underlying health condition or have been asked to do so by a registered medical practitioner.

● Tell the people you live with, any social contacts, and your workplace or school that you have tested positive.

● You can only leave self-isolation after seven days if you do not have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath. You do not need to have a negative test to exit isolation.

● Your household contacts must also self-isolate for seven days and have a RAT as soon as possible, and again on day six.