Saturday, 9 October 2021

Delta Variant Outbreak in Northern NSW in October 2021: the hubristic, elitist, city-centric world view of Perrottet will be the region's undoing


The NSW Delta Variant Outbreak began on 16 June 2021 and due to state government public health mismanagement quickly spread across Greater Sydney.

However, apart from infected individuals briefly visiting or driving through the seven council areas in north-east NSW within the Northern NSW Local Health District or locals returning home after being infected elsewhere, no local community transmission occurred until after the Morrison-Berejiklian-Hazzard push for people to accept that they need to ‘start living with COVID’.

The region’s first community transmissions began after 13 September 2021 – at that time these seven local government areas had been free of locally acquired community transmission for 165 days.

The Clarence Valley was the last to have Delta Variant community transmission occur when on or about 5 October it was discovered that 4 local residents in the Grafton postcode area were infected with COVID-19.

The number of infected people in the Grafton area stood at 7 by 8pm on 8 October 2021.

However, NSW Health record keeping is becoming somewhat erratic between jurisdictions and, on the basis of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ it is possible that the total may be nearer to 9 infected Clarence Valley residents.

Despite average vaccination rates across Northern NSW local government areas being markedly less than the 70% of the population 15 years of age and older set  by the National Cabinet, Premier Dominic Perrottet is ignoring the public health implications for regional areas and, for this one in particular with it high numbers of retirees in combination with its limited number of public hospitals adequately staffed and equipped to treat very ill COVID-19 patients.

With infection numbers still growing and sources of infection not yet fully explored - especially in the Clarence Valley - Perrottet has decided the business sector and budget deficits are more important than the state's most enduring resource, its people.

Like his predecessor, seemingly preferring to listen primarily to party political donors, vested business interests and the politically self-interested opinions/advice of Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook (Sydney) Scott Morrison, Perrottet has decided to open up the Northern Rivers region to Greater Sydney: 

 With only an oral one liner of 'no day trips' before 25 October 2021, coming from the Deputy Premier Paul Toole as a cynical figleaf.

Just 35 hours remain until trying to stop the infection spread gathering momentum becomes much harder for local communities.

Northern NSW Local Health District, media release, 9 October 2021:

To 8pm 8 October, seven new cases of COVID19 have been reported for the Northern NSW Local Health District.

Of these, three cases are in the Grafton area of Clarence Valley Local Government Area (LGA), two are in the Kyogle LGA, one in the Lismore LGA and one case is in the Ballina LGA,

One of the Kyogle cases is a household contact of a positive case. The Ballina case and Lismore case are linked to known clusters.

Investigations into the sources of the other infections is underway. Contact tracing is underway to determine any venues of concern, and public health teams have begun contacting a number of close contacts associated with these cases.

Four cases are being cared for in hospital, all are in a stable condition.

To 8pm 8 October, there have now been 64 total cases confirmed in Northern NSW since 16 June when the current Delta outbreak in Sydney began.

We would like to remind the community of expanded clinic hours available in Grafton this weekend:

Grafton Base Hospital, 184 Arthur Street, Grafton, open seven days. Saturday and Sunday 7am – 7pm.

Stay-at-home orders are in place for Lismore LGA, Casino, and Kyogle LGA until 11 October due to an increased COVID-19 public health risk.

Everyone in these areas must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason, which includes shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise and work or tertiary education if you can’t work or study at home.

Anyone with even the slightest symptoms should get tested as soon as they feel unwell. There are more than 500 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. Find a clinic at COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

We encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are able to. Find available bookings at the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder (previously eligibility checker), or you can also call Health Direct on 1800 571 155 for assistance to book.



NSW Health, media release, excerpt, 9 October 2021:

NSW recorded 580 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

One new case was acquired overseas in the same period, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 68,057.

Sadly, NSW Health is reporting the deaths of eleven people who had COVID-19 – three women and eight men. One person was in their 50s, one was in their 60s, four people were in their 70s, two were in their 80s, and three were in their 90s.

Five people were from south-western Sydney, three were from western Sydney, and three were from south-eastern Sydney.

Four were not vaccinated, three had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and four had received one dose.

A woman in her 80s died at the Hardi Guildford Aged Care Facility, where she acquired her infection. This is the sixth death associated with an outbreak at the facility.

A woman in her 80s died at the Allity Beechwood Aged Care Facility, where she acquired her infection. This is the fifth death associated with an outbreak at this facility.

NSW Health extends its sincere condolences to their loved ones.

There have been 425 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since 16 June 2021 and 481 in total since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 62,384 locally acquired cases reported since 16 June 2021, when the first case in this outbreak was reported.

There are currently 812 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 163 people in intensive care, 75 of whom require ventilation.

There were 79,894 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 103,388…….

To 11.59pm on Thursday 7 October across NSW, 89.8 per cent of the over-16 population had received a first dose COVID-19 vaccine, and 71.5 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Of the 580 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm last night, 130 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 98 are from Hunter New England LHD, 74 are from Western Sydney LHD, 54 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 42 are from Sydney LHD, 42 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, 41 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 31 are from Central Coast LHD, 20 are from Southern NSW LHD, 17 are from Western NSW LHD, nine are from Northern Sydney LHD, seven are from Northern NSW LHD, six are from Far West LHD, four are in correctional settings and five are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 in sewage samples collected from across NSW, including West Wyalong in the Riverina region, Dungog in the Hunter New England region, Crescent Head on the mid north coast, Ballina on the far north coast, Gulargambone in western NSW and Merimbula in southern NSW.

Everyone in these areas is urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms, and if they appear, to immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received…...

No comments: