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Statement From Western NSW Local Health District

Statement From Western NSW Local Health District Spokesperson

From a WNSWLHD Spokesperson:

The health response at Enngonia is a coordinated effort led by Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) and involving a number of other government and private organisations including NSW Police, the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Elders from Enngonia are represented on the Local Emergency Management Committee, to ensure their voices are heard and the community’s concerns are addressed.

Senior WNSWLHD and NSW Government agencies’ representatives have met with Elders to address concerns raised about food supply and medication.

The community at Enngonia has come together during this time and WNSWLHD, along with relevant Government and Aboriginal organisations, are continuing to work with them to incorporate the community’s strengths as part of the response effort.

WNSWLHD is part of a continuing multi-organisational response delivering groceries and other products, like fresh produce and meat, to households in Enngonia as required.

All COVID-19 patients are enrolled in and being cared for through WNSWLHD’s COVID-19 Care in the Community program. An Aboriginal Health Support Worker is assigned to assist with that care for all Aboriginal patients across the District.

At Enngonia, WNSWLHD has commenced a process of household-by-household assessment of health and social needs. This continues to help ensure a comprehensive response to support household needs as required.

Health assessments are undertaken for all COVID-19-positive patients to determine whether they can safely and effectively isolate in their homes.

Special Health Accommodation is available in the Bourke Shire for any patients unable to do so and this has been further expanded, with a cohort of mobile homes to assist in the self-isolation process expected to become operational this week.

In most cases, people with COVID-19 can be cared for appropriately in their home while self-isolating to protect the community. The vast majority of patients with COVID-19 do not need hospital care.

Should patients need to be hospitalised, the District has the ability to safely transport patients to facilities where they can receive the most appropriate level of care.

The Commonwealth Government is responsible for the supply and roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to Indigenous communities. The Australian Defence Force has been working with WNSWLHD to deliver vaccinations in the Bourke Shire at a walk-in clinic between 24 August and 26 August. A subsequent clinic is scheduled for 19 September to administer second doses. Vaccination has also been made available at Enngonia through the Bourke AMS and the RFDS.

To 9 September, 78.1 per cent of the Bourke Shire population was estimated to have received a first dose vaccination, with 41 per cent estimated to have received both doses.

WNSWLHD has provided routine COVID-19 testing in Enngonia and a seven-day-a-week testing service has been established at the Multipurpose Service. Mobile, at-home testing is available for members of the community unable to present at the MPS.

In total, to 8pm on Tuesday 15 September, there has been 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Enngonia.