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Norfolk Island coronavirus response

I want to reassure the Norfolk Island community and visitors that I am working with Australian Government agencies, Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI), the Council and NIHRACS to ensure appropriate local preparation and response plans for coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Good hygiene can prevent infection and most people recover easily.

Border agencies on Island are managing screening processes for passenger arrivals, with support from NIHRACS, in line with agreed Australian Government protocols.

The EMNI Committee has also established a dedicated Coronavirus Subcommittee which will support our planning and response through regular meetings.

NIHRACS has procedures in place for screening, testing and handling of any cases. Further consideration is being given to arrival and screening processes for air arrivals as well as cruise ships and commercial vessels, in the Norfolk Island context.

Please follow the health advice provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and NIHRACS including:

  • Knowing the signs—fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath
  • Stopping the spread—wash hands frequently (15–20 seconds with soap and water or use alcohol hand rub), cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze (sneeze into elbow pit), avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and keep at least one metre from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have a respiratory infection and are concerned you may have been exposed to coronavirus—isolate yourself, call NIHRACS, list any travel history, cover your cough and wash hands often.

I, and EMNI, will keep you updated as our response planning develops further.

For further information, see www.health.gov.au

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
March 2020