BATHURST Hospital is experiencing higher demand for treatment as the city grapples with increased influenza and COVID-19 cases.
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It is a similar situation across the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD).
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The average number of people presenting to hospital with influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) each day is higher than that seen in 2019, 2020 and 2021 combined.
A spokesperson for the health district said the number of emergency presentations has trended at around eight per day in recent weeks, compared to around three per day in 2019 and one per day in 2020 and 2021.
"While only a small percentage require hospital admission due to ILIs, demand remains high as the number of active COVID-19 cases in the district remains steady at more than 3000," they said.
"As levels of community transmission of COVID-19 increase across the state, WNSWLHD is preparing for an expected spike in the number of identified cases across the district in the coming weeks."
According to data from NSW Health, there have been 1786 cases of COVID-19 identified in the Bathurst local government area over the last four weeks.
This represents around 20 per cent of the number of cases identified in the WNSWLHD as a whole over the last four weeks, with that number sitting at 9010 as of July 14.
The health district is confident that it will be able to manage any surge in hospitalisations over the coming weeks.
"Escalation strategies have remained in place across WNSWLHD facilities throughout the pandemic and the district is well-prepared to surge plans as necessary to ensure high-quality is provided to all patients, not just those with COVID-19," the spokesperson said.
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In the meantime, the health district is appealing to Bathurst and other western communities to "continue playing their role in reducing the spread of viral illnesses" to help minimise the impact they have on health services and the workforce.
"Staying up to date with vaccinations, including influenza vaccines and all COVID-19 boosters you are eligible for, is the best and easiest way to do that," the spokesperson said.
"We also encourage everyone to stay prepared, to help avoid any unnecessary trips to EDs to protect our health services and staff, and keep those services free for people who require urgent or emergency care."
The health district recommends the following measures to protect people and reduce the impact on health services:
COVID-19 testing is still available at the former Clancy Motors site in Howick Street.
The drive-through site is open from 8am to 2pm on weekdays and from 10am to 2pm on weekends.
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