A close political ally of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian appeared to refute official NSW Health guidelines on Q+A last night, falsely claiming there was no need for her to self-isolate after receiving a COVID-19 test last Tuesday.
In a particularly maddening exchange, NSW Jobs, Investment and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres defended Berejiklian’s actions, after it was reported that she received a ‘precautionary’ test at Parliament the other day and just, you know, worked through it.
She returned a negative result two hours later.
“I think she’s evaluated what’s important for her,” Ayres said. “I think that she’s not exhibited any symptoms, and she’s done the right thing.”
Ayres repeated his view that if you don’t exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, you’re clear to go about your life while waiting for a test result.
We’ve been through this already, but once more for the people in the back: the official advice from NSW Health is that once you’ve received a COVID-19 test, you must go home and self-isolate until you receive a test result, regardless of symptoms.
In fact, some states are so concerned about the risk of asymptomatic and potentially infectious people roaming around while waiting for a test result that they’ve been paying people to stay home.
Ayres went on to claim the guidelines specifically refer to staying home if you have symptoms, and Berejiklian only reported a lost voice, which is not a known symptom of the virus.
Q+A host Hamish Macdonald shot that one down, pointing to the list you can see above.
— QandA (@QandA) November 23, 2020
Unless NSW Health guidelines on this one are about to radically change, it appears Ayres was, effectively, speaking out of his arse.
At time of writing, NSW Health’s stated rules are the same as they have been for yonks. There’s no room for anyone to “evaluate [symptoms] for ourselves”, as Ayres said.
Speaking to The Today Show this morning, Berejiklian said whether or not she breached her Government’s own rules was down to individual “interpretation”.
“In hindsight I should’ve closed my door and not had anything to do with anybody,” she said.
NSW yesterday recorded its 16th straight day without any COVID-19 community infections, which is a pretty significant achievement in and of itself.
To keep it that way, it may help to follow the public health guidelines as they’re currently stated – not as they’re half-remembered on an ABC panel show.