Coronavirus: Despite no cases on Scotland Island residents warned to take precautions

 

Source: Daily Telegraph

Residents of Scotland Island — off Sydney’s northern beaches — have been given a warning over coronavirus, as postcode data reveals which suburbs have been worst hit.

Aerial view of Scotland Island, Pittwater, northern beaches. Image supplied by Destination NSW Mandatory Photo Credit: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW

Aerial view of Scotland Island, Pittwater, northern beaches. Image supplied by Destination NSW Mandatory Photo Credit: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW

Scotland Island residents are being warned they are not invincible to the coronavirus just because they live in a “suburb with a moat”.

Councillor Ian White, a resident of 30 years, said there is a false sense of security among many that COVID-19 won’t make it to the island.

“There is a real belief because we are an island that we are safe,” Cr White said.

“It’s a false one.

“It’s just a matter of luck that we have not had a case yet.”

Councillor Ian White is a volunteer ambulance officer and part of the island's first response team.

Councillor Ian White is a volunteer ambulance officer and part of the island's first response team.

An analysis of data released this week showing COVID-19 cases by postcode reveals no-one from Scotland Island, Lovett Bay, Elvina Bay, Church Point and Palm Beach have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The suburb of Manly and Manly East has been the worst hit with the disease with 18 so far.

Cr White said the nearby suburb of Bayview has recorded one case.

He said many Scotland Island residents are still working and travelling across on the ferry, including a large number of nurses.


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The Scotland Island ferry in Pittwater, Sydney.

The Scotland Island ferry in Pittwater, Sydney.

“We are the suburb with a moat but people are still going backwards and forwards.

“People are still going to work everyday and mixing with other people.

“We have just been lucky so far.”

Cr White, a retired teacher, is also a community first responder with the Rural Fire Service which also operates an ambulance on the island.

He said he and other volunteers have had recent personal protective equipment training and can give anyone in respiratory distress drugs to help them, while they wait for paramedics from the mainland to get across.

Patient in mask been seen by triage nurse at Northern Beaches Hospital's new COVID-19 clinic. Picture: Tim Pascoe

Patient in mask been seen by triage nurse at Northern Beaches Hospital's new COVID-19 clinic. Picture: Tim Pascoe

He said they have had previous experience of moving sick flu patients off the island and they have also had critically ill people winched off before.

Most likely the water police would assist moving patients off the island to a waiting ambulance if needed.

Cr White said what was going in Scotland Island’s favour was the great community spirit.

He said social separation was working well on the island and neighbours were looking out for each other.

“The support network is already here as we all know our neighbours already,” he said.


 

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