2020 Slice of Haven on May 24 in Laurieton postponed in light of coronavirus

Spectacular: Walking stilt walkers at the 2019 Slice of Haven. Photo: Liz Langdale.
Spectacular: Walking stilt walkers at the 2019 Slice of Haven. Photo: Liz Langdale.

A major festival which draws a huge crowd each year to the Camden Haven region has been postponed in light of the coronavirus.

Organisers of the Slice of Haven cited community safety reasons as being the basis for their decision.

In a letter to community members, it was outlined since 2008 the Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce and volunteers have enjoyed bringing the Slice of Haven festival to the region.

"It is a celebration of homegrown talent and gourmet food. Moreover, the festival is a source of community pride," the letter outlined.

"People connect over a picnic blanket, music, food and drink. Visitors come and soak up a slice of the Camden Haven way of life, while we locals pinch ourselves and think, how lucky are we to live here?"

Organisers of the event said they were disappointed for sponsors, stallholders, volunteers, and visitors because it's an event which thousands of people love dearly.

"The health and safety of all in our Slice family come first. We plan to bring Slice back bigger and better when it is safe to do so," they said.

Event organisers include Stuart Bate, Robert and Kate Dwyer, Craig and Rachel Freudenstein, Peter Johnson, Julie Krige, Lisa McPherson and Rachel O'Neill.

Meanwhile the 2020 Laurieton Multisport Challenge has also been cancelled, with organisers stating the health and well-being of members, volunteers, competitors and the community need to be the main priority. The event was scheduled to take place on March 29.

As of Monday, March 16 two residents from the Mid North Coast have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a holiday overseas.

The information has been confirmed by the North Coast Public Health Unit.

The unit's acting director Dr Jane Jelfs, said the couple are aged in their 60s and are currently in self-isolation in Sydney. She said they pose no risk to Mid North Coast residents.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District is planning for the establishment of acute respiratory clinics, similar to a fever or flu clinic concept, to screen people with risk factors for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as influenza.

The clinics are part of the district's ongoing response to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

The best way to protect yourself is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. Practice good hygiene by:

  • making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Make sure you stay home if you are sick.

Medical centres in Port Macquarie are urging residents to take precautions to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have travelled to an at risk country or been in close contact with someone with the virus, please isolate and call your GP or 1800 022 222 for further advice.

If you are having trouble breathing and have been to an at risk country, go to the emergency department.

For more information about the virus, please visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au

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