Relief as bug case is false alarm

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
“Certainly, the person’s address is Boddington, but at the time of testing they were not even in the Wheatbelt,” Shire president Rod McSwain said.
Camera Icon“Certainly, the person’s address is Boddington, but at the time of testing they were not even in the Wheatbelt,” Shire president Rod McSwain said. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Boddington residents are breathing a big sigh of relief after the town’s first confirmed case of the deadly coronavirus was revealed to be a “false alarm”.

The Shire of Boddington announced its first case of COVID-19 on Thursday last week only to be advised by the WA Country Health Service that the contagious person was not staying in town.

“Certainly, the person’s address is Boddington, but at the time of testing they were not even in the Wheatbelt,” Shire president Rod McSwain said.

Boddington Shire president Rod McSwain.
Camera IconBoddington Shire president Rod McSwain. Credit: Kellie Balaam

A WA Health Department spokeswoman said laboratory forms at COVID-19 clinics required people to list a residential address.

“While this is usually near to the clinic where a person is being tested, it is not always the case,” the spokeswoman said.

“We are unable to provide personal details, including the exact location of confirmed cases due to patient confidentiality. If this person is a confirmed COVID-19 case, they will have been notified by WA Health and been told they are required to self-isolate for 14 days, whether that be in Boddington or elsewhere.”

The Shire of Boddington
Camera IconThe Shire of Boddington Credit: Kellie Balaam

Mr McSwain’s message to the community was to keep following Government advice.

“I think even though the Shire’s been putting out regular communication, now it hits home and it’s a case of everybody continuing to be extra vigilant and watching social distances and health habits,” he said.

“We are a close-knit community and while this confusion put everyone on edge, the town community is relieved that COVID-19 is not in the Shire at all.

“If you knew for certain that there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Boddington, would you choose to do anything differently tomorrow?

“If the answer is yes, you should immediately do things differently.”

COVID-19 cases in WA regions as of Thursday.
Camera IconCOVID-19 cases in WA regions as of Thursday. Credit: Department of Health

Boddington is in the Perth-Peel region in relation to WA’s travel restrictions, but is listed in the Wheatbelt for health statistics.

As of Tuesday, there were 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Wheatbelt.

Mr McSwain said combining the Perth and Peel regions was a sensible decision.

“I’m not too concerned about the combining of the regions; it would have cut a lot of work for people who commute daily if they couldn’t cross borders,” he said.

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