With social distancing restrictions being wound back in some states, rural Australians could be forgiven for thinking that the COVID-19 crisis is over – but don’t let your guard down yet, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and Rural Doctors Association of Australia has warned.

The peak rural doctors’ bodies said while the curve has flattened, the return of the pandemic in countries like Singapore – and ongoing cases in Australia – show everyone must stay vigilant.

“The recent COVID-19 cluster at the meatworks in Victoria, the ongoing crisis at the Sydney nursing home, and numerous other cases show this emergency is far from over,” Dr Adam Coltzau, Clinical Lead for ACRRM and RDAA’s COVID-19 Rural and Remote Response, said.

Country areas are not immune.

“With some restrictions starting to be wound back, and Australians moving around more widely, there is significant potential for coronavirus to spread further into rural communities in the coming months.

“If we let down our collective guard, there’s a very strong likelihood that COVID-19 will bounce back hard a second time.

“Our key message to all Australians is this – if you have any flu-like symptoms or a fever, do not go to work or mix freely in the community. Instead, self-isolate and seek testing for COVID-19.

“This is a serious illness and you need to take it seriously. We strongly encourage all rural Australians to download the COVIDSafe App.

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