Health district, Business NSW and public health unit launch COVID-19 safety plans for business

Partnership: Kellon Beard, Paul Corben and Stewart Dowrick discussing the just-launched COVID-19 safety plan for business.
Partnership: Kellon Beard, Paul Corben and Stewart Dowrick discussing the just-launched COVID-19 safety plan for business.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District says it is prepared to scale up testing if a COVID-19 case is recorded in the area.

Chief executive Stewart Dowrick says 34,000 tests have already been completed.

In the 116 days since a case was reported, the area has recorded 52 confirmed cases with one death.

Mr Dowrick said the health district is working with Business NSW to ensure the business community has enough information to implement guidelines and protocols.

"Business has indicated they want more information and we are providing that to them," he said.

"It is a pandemic and conditions can change regularly.

"NSW as responded very well as a state and we support that consistent message.

"We have seen a steady increase in COVID-19 testing, which can be scaled up to meet increased demand.

"We strongly encourage people of any age to come in for a test if they have the slightest of symptoms," he said.

We strongly encourage people of any age to come in for a test if they have the slightest of symptoms.

Stewart Dowrick

Mr Dowrick said the health district was as prepared as we can be.

The health district, Business NSW and the North Coast Public Health Unit have jointly launched a safety plan for business.

That plan caters to a variety of business sectors.

He said contact tracing can also be scaled up to meet any outbreak, particularly during the approaching school holidays.

"We need people to come to the region for tourism purposes - we welcome them," he said.

"But we are working with business, local government and other agencies to make sure people that do come here are safe.

"There are regular random audits to check on compliance, which is getting better and better.

"This is a once in 100 year pandemic and the more information we can provide the better.

"This is a great partnership with Business NSW," he said.

"However, it is a fluid situation."

Business NSW regional manager Mid-North Coast Kellon Beard urged business to have a plan in place.

"That is very important here because we have a large transient population," he said.

"Working with NSW Health and the health district, we have distributed this document to local chambers of commerce.

We have been very lucky on the Mid-North Coast in keeping out community transmission.

Paul Corben

"We are helping and assisting business as best we can."

Mr Beard said compliance was a key for business in the battle to restrict cases of COVID-19.

He said many businesses had implemented ways of keeping staff and customers safe.

Director of the North Coast Public Health Unit, Paul Corben, said a strong, healthy economy is good for peoples' well being.

He said keeping the virus out of local business was good for everyone.

"We have been very lucky on the Mid-North Coast in keeping out community transmission," he said.

"So we have to continue to practice those basic things, physical distancing, have a screening process for staff or even have a covid safety marshal.

"It is also important to have accurate and readily accessible records of staff and visitors.

"If we do have a case, public health will be wanting that list immediately so we can start contact tracing.

"There are a suite of well-developed plans in place if an outbreak is reported," he said.

"There are plans for schools, for aged care facilities and for meat works. These are all aimed at prevention."

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