Plea for young people to stay at home


Superintendent Tim Chinn. Photo TWH

Police and health authorities are concerned at a sudden spike in the number of COVID cases in Bourke over the past week.

With Operation Stay At Home still in force, there are concerns some residents are deliberately flouting the public health orders, which require people to stay at home unless they have a valid reason for leaving, such as shopping for essential items or providing care for children.

Commander of Central North police District, Superintendent Tim Chinn, said the community had been ‘travelling well’ until last week.

“And then there were more than 20 cases since last Thursday.

“The concern is that most of the cases are presenting north of Mitchell Street in Bourke,” Superintendent Chinn said.

“I would encourage all residents to comply because we are not out of the woods yet, and that means ensuring social distancing, wearing masks, and staying at home.

“It may require people to plan ahead, not go to the shops multiple times a day, and to get tested if they have any symptoms.

“It’s a minority who aren’t complying, and unfortunately there’s a pattern of young people under 19 breaking those health orders, and that is leading to a spread throughout the community and keeping us in this risky position.

“I am encouraging young people to consider the consequences, not just to them if they fall ill, but the risk to family and friends.

“People die or have long term problems because of this virus and if we all help, we will only be in this situation for a short time. We have to get on top of this and last week the cases increased after being in a good position,” he said.

The Premier unveiled her ‘road map out of COVID’ earlier this week, which included access to events and businesses for those with vaccine passports.

“There will be limitations for the unvaccinated such as non-admission to licensed premises and some businesses and sporting events or overseas travel,” Superintendent Chinn said.

“Aside from the obvious health risks we encourage people to get vaccinated because it will allow more freedoms when we come out of this.”