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Think COVID-19 won’t reach your rural town? Think again!

If rural and remote Australians think their town is too isolated to be impacted by COVID-19, they should think again, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) warned today.

"News travels fast in the bush - and so will coronavirus unless more rural Australians ensure they are doing the right thing and self-isolating" Dr Adam Coltzau, Clinical Lead for RDAA and ACRRM's COVID-19 Rural and Remote Response, said.

"Cases of coronavirus have already been confirmed in numerous rural communities.

"But some rural Australians are still walking around in La-La Land, thinking COVID-19 is only a big city issue.

"This couldn't be further from the truth.

"The hard fact is that COVID-19 infections will increase in rural and remote Australia.

"As a rural or remote Australian, you must now do the right thing to reduce the spread of the virus and reduce your risk of getting it.

"Whenever possible, you and your immediate family members should self-isolate at home - and work from home where that is possible.

"It is also critical that those from the cities or other regions - including your distant family members - refrain from coming to your community at this time, as this will be a sure-fire way for the virus to spread.

"It will also put incredible pressure on our local health services and hospitals if they fall ill with COVID19 while in your community, and we can't guarantee we'll be able to provide the care they may need.

"This is not a time to panic, but it is a time for rural Australians to help protect themselves and their community by acting for the common good. That is best achieved by the following:

  • Ensure you and your family are self-isolating at home, and working from home if you can.
  • Metres matter - stay 1.5 to 2 metres away from other people, and don't assume that because you have known someone for 40 years they won't be carrying the virus - they may not even know it.