Community warned against complacency

Bilyara Deputy Director of Nursing Webster Mtemachani, Director of Nursing Clarissa Spencer and Inspector Adam Beard are encouraging the community to not be complacent and get vaccinated.
Bilyara Deputy Director of Nursing Webster Mtemachani, Director of Nursing Clarissa Spencer and Inspector Adam Beard are encouraging the community to not be complacent and get vaccinated.

The Cowra community is being warned not to become complacent with the rampant delta variant reaching regional communities.

Officer in Charge of Cowra, Inspector Adam Beard, said the harder the community worked now the better prepared it would be.

"Vaccination is not only the best way to keep ourselves, our family and our community safe, but it is also the only way that we can move forward and out of public health order restrictions," he said.

"COVID is something we are going to have to live with from now on, it's not something that is going to go away.

"It's true that our situation at Cowra can change very quickly, as has been evidenced by the positive sewerage test, there is no room for us to be complacent.

"We need to continue with our vaccination rates to get as many of our community vaccinated as we can."

That sentiment was supported by Cowra Retirement Village Chief Executive Officer, Scott Kable, who said all their staff had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

"All staff had to have had at least their first vaccination by 9am Friday morning, so we have achieved that," he said.

"We achieved that a few weeks ago and about 80 percent have received two vaccinations.

"So in the next month or so we will have 100 per cent of staff double vaccinated and all but one or two residents are fully vaccinated."

He said they were grateful for the support they had received to reach that goal.

"We've had fantastic support from the medical centre, it is a vaccination hub, and from our perspective, they've been fantastic," he said.

"They've run some clinics specifically for aged care staff, they've prioritised our staff to get their vaccinations as quickly as possible and we've really appreciated that."

Inspector Beard said continued vaccination efforts would allow us to return to some normality.

"It's getting back to the lifestyle we love and have missed so much," he said.

"Seeing your family and loved ones, being able to travel and also for the business community this is the way forward.

"We get our vaccination rates up so businesses can open up, so the community can be strong with their health, but also have a strong economy.

"A lot of employers are mandating their employees are vaccinated, not only through health and aged care but other government departments such as NSW Police.

'The Premier has made it quite clear a number of our freedoms that we will enjoy will be restricted to those who are fully vaccinated."

While Mr Kable said a higher community vaccination rate would also help return their residents life to normality.

"The NSW government has certainly linked the winding back of restrictions to vaccination rates, so the quicker everyone is vaccinated the quicker those restrictions will start to be removed," he said.

"From our point of view at the retirement village it means our residents will be able to have visitors, there will be less, if any, restrictions of the residents coming in and out and going on outings, which is restricted at the moment.

"It will be much much better for our residents, it's been documented particularly around COIVD, the issue of loneliness.

"People missing their families, birthday's and not being able to celebrate milestones with people.

"So all of that starts to happen again once that community vaccination rate reaches the 80 per cent."

Inspector Beard encouraged those concerned about vaccination to talk to their health care providers.

"I am aware some people are concerned about being vaccinated," he said.

"It's very important those people get their facts from credible sources and to make up their own mind based on the evidence.

"The likelihood of suffering an adverse reaction to a COVID vaccination is similar to winning the lottery and we all know how hard that is."

Mr Kable agreed saying the best vaccine was the one available to you.

"The high the vaccination rate the more protected we are, 80 per cent is good, 85 per cent is better and 90 per cent is better again," he said.

"So people need to get vaccinated and the best vaccine for you to get is the one you can get.

"If people can access AstraZeneca then they should have AstraZeneca, if they can have one of the others they should have that.

"But they should not wait to get a preferred vaccine, they've all be tested, they're all safe and they're all very effective."

The Australian Defence Force and Western NSW Local Health District second dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be returning on September 24 and September 25.

Vaccines are being provided by invitation only and first doses are also available to Cowra students aged over 12 years with anyone aged between 12 and 15 years needing to be accompanied by their parent/guardian or carer.

Though Inspector Beard said there were other options available for vaccination.

"All community members are reminded that appointments can be made at our local health providers to receive vaccinations," he said.

"Remember, children from 12 years of age and over can now receive their vaccinations.

"We are sitting at around 80 per cent first dose received in Cowra - we need to continue with our vaccination rates to further strengthen our community."

He said that it was equally important that COVID testing continued in the region.

"The positive sewer test result underlines how important it is that people continue to come forward and be tested regardless as to whether they are suffering from any symptoms," he said.

"The delta variant can spread quickly, so it is imperative that we continue to test so that we can act quickly if a positive case is detected.

"The Cowra community have done a great job in keeping safe thus far.

"The job is not over yet and I ask that we all continue to get vaccinated, tested and maintain sound hygiene practices."