Local News

Hunter New England Health District COVID-19 update, Tuesday 19th May 2020


Hunter New England Health (HNEH) have wrapped up a number of testing blitz in the district, but there are more starting as we are all encouraged to keep getting tested. 

The numbers continue to stay steady with still a total of 278 cases since the pandemic began.

More people have also recovered from COVID-19 in the district - now 240 people have recovered after being checked in with three weeks after the onset of the virus.

Testing continues to be on the up as well with more than 47,830 people tested for COVID-19 since the outbreak.

HNEH is opening up a specialised testing clinic at Cessnock Hospital to boost testing numbers in the community. 

Public Health Physician Dr David Durrheim said although there have been very few cases in Hunter New England recently with restrictions lifting, the blitz will assist efforts to identify any COVID-19 virus still circulating in the community.

“There were a cluster of COVID-19 cases identified in Cessnock during the virus peak, which makes it even more important to hunt the virus down and ensure there is no ongoing risk to the community,"

“We don’t expect to find large numbers of cases – or indeed many at all – but testing is the only way we will know for sure," said Dr Durrheim.

Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to get tested.

Even those with mild symptoms such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose are encouraged to arrange testing.

The drive-through clinic will operate 10am to 6pm from Wednesday 20 May until Tuesday 26 May. Bookings are essential, and people should call 49910436 to register before attending. The clinic is available for a limited time but may be extended depending on demand.

Dr Durrheim has also asked that anyone who has symptoms to isolate at home until they have received further advice from their GP or the hospital.

With the large number of people being tested across the District it can take up to 72 hours to receive results, so we urge people patient while they wait.

Meantime, a COVID-19 testing blitz in Newcastle, Tamworth and Armidale has wrapped up and so far has found no additional confirmed cases.

While some tests are still being processed, 3,200 people were tested at Tamworth, more than 7,700 people went through the drive through clinic at McDonald Jones Stadium at Newcastle and more than 1,100 people were tested at Armidale.