COVID CLINIC
COVID CLINIC

Testing rates spike as state left on edge

RESIDENTS on the Mid North Coast are heeding the warnings of authorities as tests rise above 2500 a week.

As ballooning cases in Melbourne and outbreaks in Sydney continue, testing rates have climbed in the Mid North Coast Local Health District.

In mid-July there was a spike in tests with almost 500 extra tests being carried out during the week ending July 18.

The two previous weeks had remained steady at just under 2000 tests however the following week that number rose to 2442.

The most up to date figures show there were 2686 tests for the week ending July 25, a rise of 244 on the week before.

Port Macquarie leads the way, with the coastal city cracking the 1000 test per week mark for the second week in a row.

Dr Olivia and Derek Bell with David Cheney at the Bellingen Community Covid-19 clinic where patients drive in for testing.
Dr Olivia and Derek Bell with David Cheney at the Bellingen Community Covid-19 clinic where patients drive in for testing.

There were 94 extra tests there, bringing their total to 1102, while Coffs Harbour accounted for 878, an increase of 96.

The rate of testing within the population is also highest in Port Macquarie, with 13 people per 1000 being tested, closely followed by Kempsey with 12 and Coffs Harbour 11.4.

The average across the LHD is 11.9, despite there having been no positive coronavirus cases in almost 100 days.

Meanwhile, the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has encouraged residents to wear masks in areas where social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

Though she pointed out it was not a substitute for physical distancing.

“People should continue to maintain their physical distance – it is our most effective weapon,” she said.

“However, if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t maintain your physical distance you should wear a mask.”

There are also reports of employees in some sectors such as retail being directed to wear masks.

The recommendation comes after NSW recorded a further 13 new cases up until 8pm Sunday, representing a weekly rise of 92 across the week. It was an increase of 18 on the previous week.



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