The McGowan Government has announced new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 to the Kimberley region.
The new measures follow confirmation of a number of positive COVID-19 cases in the region this week. All confirmed cases are currently self-isolating with contact tracing underway to determine the source of the infection, and to identify and isolate close contacts, as per the national guidelines.
Travel restrictions are already in place in the Kimberley region but due to the seriousness of the situation, additional stronger measures are needed to stop the movement of people between towns or local government areas.
From midnight tonight (or 11.59pm Thursday), new boundaries, in line with the four local government areas (shires of Broome, Derby West Kimberley, Wyndham East Kimberley, Halls Creek) within the Kimberley region will be in place.
People must stay in their local government area. The existing exemptions apply, such as provision of essential services or supplies, freight, medical reasons or compassionate grounds.
Currently, residents returning to their home in the Kimberley must self-isolate for 14 days.
The State Government has sent a nursing team to Broome Hospital to assist staff on the ground with the response. Additional support will be sent to Broome soon.
All healthcare services operated by the WA Country Health Service in the Kimberley are still operational and serving local communities.
Kimberley residents are urged to stay home and cease all non-essential travel and activity. Indoor or outdoor activities of more than two people should be avoided, unless exempted.
Anyone displaying symptoms should contact their local health facility immediately.
For more information on social distancing measures, visit https://www.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“The situation unfolding in the Kimberley is extremely serious, and we need to implement drastic measures to protect the community.
“We cannot take any chances here. Kimberley residents living in remote Aboriginal communities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and they need to be protected.
“It is vital that all Kimberley residents heed this advice and stay in their home, and within their regional boundary, unless there is a genuine reason to leave.
“We are following the best medical advice and the State Government is working around the clock to protect the community.
“I want to thank the local Aboriginal organisations, health care workers and local service providers for the work they are doing throughout the region.
“We will get through this, but it’s vital that all members of the community do the right thing.”