While the Northern Tablelands, and in fact the entire Hunter New England Local Health District, finds itself COVID-19 free, we should act like it's still here.
That was the message from Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall to the electorate. It comes after Hunter New England Health revealed Armidale's testing rate for COVID-19 was one of the best in the region.
With flare-ups in some Melbourne suburbs prompting lock-downs, Mr Marshall said the government here was taking the situation seriously.
Last week it issued a new Public Health Order which applies only to Victorians who live in the known coronavirus hotspot areas.
"If any of these people are found to have travelled into NSW they face potential penalties of six months in prison or an $11,000 fine," Mr Marshall said.
He said health staff will also test the temperatures of passengers from Victoria as they arrive at airports and train stations in NSW.
Victoria is a completely different scenario on our northern border where, from midday on Friday this week, Queensland will open itself up to interstate travellers, subject to completing and signing a border declaration.
Mr Marshall said if any person entering Queensland from whatever place has spent time in any local government area in Victoria during the past 14 days, they will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.
"The re-opening of Queensland is great news for our border economies and those farmers who own property in both states and have had to deal with road closures and movement restrictions during their main planting window.
"What all this boils down to is as NSW starts school holidays next week residents must continue to act as if COVID-19 is still in our community," he said.
There were several COVID-19 cases confirmed in the Northern Tablelands in March and April.
The first coronavirus cases in the region were an Inverell couple who returned home from a cruise and were diagnosed in March, followed by an Emmaville couple who were among the Ruby Princess cases.
There was another case in Inverell after a group of travellers returned home. Others from the group were also tested.
The seventh case was a Uralla resident who had returned from an overseas trip.
Mr Marshall said the list of symptoms the virus presents now includes fever, cough, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath the loss of smell and taste, runny nose, muscle and joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting and loss of appetite.
"If you are planning a family trip away over the school break and any of your family has these symptoms they must be tested before leaving and isolate until their results are known."
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