News Coronavirus NSW converts outback caravan park into COVID isolation centre

NSW converts outback caravan park into COVID isolation centre

Wilcannia's "primitive" Victory caravan park will accommodate isolation cases, many of them Indigenous. Photo: Hemax
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As waves of COVID infections engulf New South Wales, a COVID-19 isolation hub will be established in a caravan park in Wilcannia, one of NSW’s hardest hit regional towns.

Temporary accommodation will be available for isolating COVID patients at the Victory Park Caravan Park, in the state’s far west, described in promotional material as “simple and primitive with a clean amenities block.” .

In the latest reporting period, there were nine additional infections reported, taking the town’s cluster to 97. More than 13 per cent of its predominantly Indigenous population have now caught the virus.

The caravans should be ready early this week, NSW Health said on Sunday.

“The site includes 30 motorhomes that will provide temporary accommodation options for people, helping to protect their loved ones and reduce the risk of transmission of the virus,” a statement read.

“This option provides a respectful and appropriate environment to safely isolate for the Wilcannia community and will remain in place until no longer required.”

Elsewhere in Wilcannia, an emergency management centre has been established at the town’s showground, housing personnel and staging response activities.

“It will include personnel from NSW Health, NSW Police, Australian Defence Force, Aboriginal Affairs, Rural Fire Service, SES, NSW Ambulance … and a number of volunteer organisations.”

More than 600 food hampers have been delivered to Wilcannia residents and the distribution program continues.

COVID patients isolating in the free, self-contained caravan accommodation will be provided with all meals and have 24/seven assistance on hand.

Elsewhere in NSW, 22 new virus cases were identified in Dubbo on Saturday, nine in Bourke, three each in Bathurst and Orange and one in Bogan.