Steph Cooke, Superintendent Bob Noble, Jill Ludford and Joe McGirr stand 1.5 metres apart from each other in front of a dark glass building.
Steph Cooke MP, Superintendent Bob Noble, Jill Ludford and Joe McGirr MP at the media conference in Wagga Wagga.

The Member for Cootamundra has joined the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, the Riverina Police and the Member for Wagga Wagga to provide an update on the local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steph Cooke said she was extremely pleased the number of cases in the Cootamundra Electorate had not risen and commended health authorities for their tireless efforts.

“I really want to thank the MLHD for their preparation, it’s been extensive, comprehensive and it’s been set up to protect all of us,” Ms Cooke said.

 “While I am heartened at where we are in terms of small communities, this is no time to be complacent. Each and every one of us does have a role to play and we must heed the health advice, we must practice social distancing, we must practice good hygiene and we must only leave the home if it is essential to do so.” 

Superintendent Bob Noble said he is concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on mental health.

“We are putting together measures to fortify and strengthen individuals and groups who might be suffering more than usual as a result of this COVID-19 event,” Superintendent Noble said.

“It’s a particularly difficult time for all of us in the community but particularly those who are vulnerable with mental health. We’re having to adapt very rapidly to a changing way of life and that is doing a lot of harm.”

“You’re not alone, there are support services out there, there is help out there for you. So if you’re struggling you should reach out… Do not isolate yourself emotionally.”

Chief Executive of MLHD Jill Ludford said new technology and practices were being employed to keep patients safe and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

“We’ve created a virtual hospital in the home to be able to look after people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but also to look after people who have got a vulnerability to the disease,” Ms Ludford said.

“We have now purchased what we call wearable devices where we can monitor people’s oxygen, temperature, blood pressure and a whole range of other medical things. We are giving them mobile phones and we are giving our clinicians iPads so they can actually monitor these people in a virtual hospital.”

“We can monitor over 100 people in this way… it is cutting edge technology.”

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