NSW Health is establishing optional community support accommodation (CSA) in Kempsey to further assist the close contacts of people with COVID-19 to isolate safely and effectively, if they cannot do so at home.
A community of 10 motorhomes will be operational from today (October 27) at the Kempsey Showground, which already has access to power and water.
Mid North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick said this support accommodation provided a respectful and appropriate environment to safely isolate for the Kempsey community. Use of the facility is optional.
In the last week, more than 158 new COVID positive cases have been reported in the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Seven schools between Kendall in the south of Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour in the north have also been forced to shutdown temporarily for deep cleaning.
Those who choose to isolate in the motorhomes will have meals provided and receive regular health checks by NSW Health's COVID Care in the Community Team.
Residents who test COVID-positive will be offered a place at the community supported accommodation site as part of the contact tracing and welfare check process undertaken by NSW Health.
The temporary facility will operate as needed in Kempsey to support the current outbreak.
Mr Dowrick said the numbers of cases is concerning and the health district is expecting them to continue to rise.
He added that most of the cases are in care at home with the support of NSW Health staff.
"The motorhomes can also be set up quickly, scaled up or down easily if required and managed in a practical way," Mr Dowrick said.
Each motorhome has heating and cooling and includes living and bedroom accommodation, kitchen, toilet, a shower, and radio/television.
Health Infrastructure developed the plan for the community support accommodation in Kempsey in consultation with Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD), Kempsey Shire Council, Aboriginal Affairs NSW, the Local Emergency Management Committee, and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
A COVID Community Response Team has been established to ensure the continual monitoring and evaluation of isolated patients to provide a safe and timely coordinated health and welfare response.
The Kempsey CSA takes learnings from the COVID-19 response provided by other CSA sites established across NSW in the last two months, and the community consultation undertaken. In response to the community's wishes to remain on country, the dedicated Kempsey CSA was developed in partnership with government and non-government agencies.
Throughout the pandemic the NSW government has provided temporary accommodation options for people, including staff and community members, that need to self-isolate out-of-home to help protect their loved ones and reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
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