Kangaroo Island records its first COVID-19 coronavirus case

The coronavirus heat map published by SA Health on April 2 shows Kangaroo Island has its first case.
The coronavirus heat map published by SA Health on April 2 shows Kangaroo Island has its first case.

The Kangaroo Island Medical Clinic on the evening of Thursday, April 2 confirmed the Island's first confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus case.

The individual who tested positive is not requiring hospitalisation and is a KI local recently returned from interstate.

The KI Council meanwhile on Thursday afternoon passed several motions regarding an urgent request to the State Government and emergency control officers to close off the KI border to all non-essential travel.

Council CEO Greg Georgopoulos was drafting the letter to the Premier and relevant authorities today, Friday, April 3.

The Islander is also asking the Premier's office for a comment.

Regarding Island's first coronavirus case, Dr Jeremy Wells of the clinic read out a statement on Thursday evening, urging everyone to remain calm and treat one another respect and to keep following the social isolation and physical distancing recommendations.

"As of this evening, the 2nd of April, we now have one confirmed case of Covid-19 on Kangaroo Island," the clinic posted online.

"We have been doing a lot of testing, and the detection of a positive case comes as no surprise to us.

"The individual who has tested positive is not requiring hospitalisation. That individual is a local and has recently returned from interstate.

"They are unwell through no fault of their own, and they have been doing all the right things, including isolating as required and calling us here at the clinic and organising to be tested through our Covid-19 clinic when they started to feel unwell, thus massively limiting the potential for further spread.

"We would therefore like to say thank you, sincerely, for being responsible and conscientious, and of course we all wish you a speedy recovery at home."

You can read the full statement here:

To our fellow Kangaroo Islanders,

Firstly, we hope you are all going ok as we adapt to this new way of living for the next little while. We at the clinic have been so heartened by the way the Kangaroo Island community has broadly taken on board the important messages we shared a week ago, and we say tonight a special thank you to those community members and businesses who have made enormous sacrifices in an effort to reduce the potential spread of infection. We truly appreciate what you are doing to look after this community.

You will see on the Clinic's Facebook page updated information regarding our appointment system, information regarding testing for Covid-19, and advice to keep an eye out for our influenza vaccination clinics, which are only now weeks away. Please do take a few minutes to read these updates.

Most importantly - if you are sick and unsure about what to do - we are here for you and we are ready. Please phone us on 8553 2037 so we can arrange a phone consult to decide with you whether you need testing and/or an assessment.

Of course, if you are in distress, please attend the Kangaroo Island Health Service, our hospital. If you are attending the KI Health Service, please ring ahead if possible, follow the advice of staff, and do not enter the hospital until advised to do so, as the hospital is now locked to stop the flow of non-essential visitors. In an emergency, dial 000.

As of this evening, the 2nd of April, we now have one confirmed case of Covid-19 on Kangaroo Island. We have been doing a lot of testing, and the detection of a positive case comes as no surprise to us. The individual who has tested positive is not requiring hospitalisation. That individual is a local and has recently returned from interstate. They are unwell through no fault of their own, and they have been doing all the right things, including isolating as required and calling us here at the clinic and organising to be tested through our Covid-19 clinic when they started to feel unwell, thus massively limiting the potential for further spread. We would therefore like to say thank you, sincerely, for being responsible and conscientious, and of course we all wish you a speedy recovery at home.

What a positive finding on Kangaroo Island does do, is to reinforce the most important message at the moment: that there are very likely to be other cases out there in our community, and so we must respect that likelihood in the way that we continue to interact with each other - AT A DISTANCE.

We have been clear in our messaging to council and state government about the need to reverse the Book Them Out message especially with the Easter holiday just around the corner, and the need to slow dramatically the flow of traffic to the island. With the support of the community and the blessing of so many tourist operators and holiday home owners - in many cases at great personal loss - we think that this has been largely achieved.

But we must not lose our spirit of compassion. There are visitors on the island right now, and that is not their fault. Regardless of what may happen in time with further restrictions of movement on and off the island, there may in fact be visitors who still arrive in the days and weeks ahead, for whatever reason (reasons which we may not be aware of) and we must continue to treat them with our typical KI kindness and not suspicion, as after all, returning locals from the mainland are just as likely to be carrying the Covid-19 virus as non-Islanders.

So what remains paramount is that:

A. We wash our hands well, and a lot,

B. We continue to practise dedicated physical distancing, staying home for all but essential trips out,

C. If we do go out for exercise, or for sunshine, or to do some fishing, we suggest you follow the national advice that we do so only with only our regular household contacts OR one other person, and most importantly,

D. We stay kind.

This story Kangaroo Island records its first COVID-19 coronavirus case first appeared on The Islander.

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