‘Vast majority’ of 21 new cases in Dubbo are Aboriginal children

There are major concerns in western New South Wales as 21 new coronavirus cases have been recorded in the region.

Of these cases most are in Aboriginal children, one of whom has been admitted to hospital.

"We know that the vast majority of our cases in Dubbo and across the western NSW are Aboriginal, and we know also the vast majority of our cases are also children," Western NSW Local Health District CEO, Scott McLachlan said today.

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"We sadly have one admission to hospital overnight in a child."

There are 63 active cases in the region – 59 in Dubbo and four in Walgett.

Two additional cases have been detected in Mudgee overnight and will be included in tomorrow's figures.

Brendon Cutmore, Western NSW Local Health District Director of Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, said there are a number of support systems are in place.

He explained Cultural Cases Support Teams are helping homes with food and medical resources, and Social and Emotional Wellbeing Aboriginal Mental Health Clinicians have been enlisted.

Brendon Cutmore, Western NSW Local Health District Director of Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing. Dubbo coronavirus outbreak

"Please don't be too proud in terms of reaching out and asking for help at the moment," Mr Cutmore said.

For people who can't reach testing clinics, there is an Aboriginal mobile clinic, but he said the most important thing is for people to stay in their own homes.

"Right now, through any crisis, normally our community response and our family response is that we gather together, and we normally share our resources, and we normally take care of each other in the way of pulling everybody together you know at nan and pops' house, or at aunty and uncles' home, but right now we've got to do this in a very different way," Mr Cutmore said.

"I really need to encourage everybody to stay in their home.

"Don't go down to nan and pops' house or to aunty and uncles' house to drop anything off to people or to check in. Use the phone, send a text, and if you're really worried contact us and we'll ensure the support services reach out to help your family.

"Right now the way that we stop this spread is that we stay in our own houses."

Mr Cutmore said the community needs to protect young children as well as the elderly.

Western NSW Local Health District CEO, Scott McLachlan, said the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days. Dubbo coronavirus outbreak

"This is a situation that will continue to grow," Western NSW Local Health District CEO, Scott McLachlan warned.

"Those numbers will continue to increase in the next 24 hours again.

"Please stay at home, protect yourself, wear maks wherever possible outside of the house, socially distance, use your hand hygiene, and if you do need to go out make sure you check in to the facilities with your QR code.

"And please, take care of each other, this is time for us to all come together, show some love and appreciation for our communities."

There are 36 venues of concern across the Dubbo region – 15 of those are close contact exposure sites. You can see them here, on the NSW Health website

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