Ivanhoe’s first official COVID-19 case has thanked the community for its “overwhelming” kindness since she tested positive.
- Ivanhoe’s first COVID case says she was scared she’d be the focus of anger
- Instead she has been embraced by the small community
- The source of her infection is still not known
Natalie Scadding said she felt extremely fearful and guilty when she received her test result.
“I was very emotional, given it’s a small community,” the 31-year-old said.
“I was very worried about opinions, I was worried about backlash, I was very worried about blame once I’d posted a status to say that I was positive.”
But instead of anger she was met with compassion.
Health authorities still have not traced the source of the infection which has forced more than 50 per cent of the town’s population into isolation.
Ms Scadding believes it had to have come from outside the community and that she contracted the disease from a number of out-of-town visitors who attended a football presentation on October 30 at the RSL.
Having not left town herself for a month before contracting COVID, she believes “it was definitely brought into the community”.
The population of Ivanhoe is around 200 and the virus was not detected in the community for six days after the function.
It is the reason more than 5 per cent of the population was infected in a single day.
“It wasn’t until Wednesday at 3am that I woke up feeling very ill,” Ms Scadding said.
“To be honest with you, I thought it was a bout of gastro to begin with, and as those symptoms started to subside, it honestly felt more like sinusitis or tonsillitis.
“Because we’re such a small community and we haven’t had any other cases, I don’t think anybody really expected it.”
There are 15 active cases of COVID-19 in Ivanhoe.
Extra support on the way
Central Darling Shire administrator Bob Stewart said 10 camper vans were being sent to allow people to isolate and frozen food had been stockpiled.
“At the moment there’s 400 frozen meals being shipped in from the Far West Health Service,” he said.
“Distribution is occurring down there, however the store is still well stocked and fresh produce is coming in through the store — that’s being monitored by the local emergency management committee.”
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