Hunter New England Health confirmed one of seven new cases in the Sunday update was linked to that exposure, a Sydney worker who deputy premier John Barilaro said had "done the wrong thing" translating to more than 400 close contacts.
Those rules in the Hunter mean masks will be mandatory everywhere aside from for those undertaking exercise. Those maintaining their fitness will still be required to carry a face covering, though, and NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said that police would expect masks to be donned in crowded areas.
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NSW Police Minister David Elliott was clear about what the misguided protest efforts could mean for a state already in a COVID-19 crisis: more time under the extensive restrictions that prompted the opposition in the first place.
There are no supporters of lockdowns in their own right. The imposition they deliver to business and individuals is onerous, but they are accepted as an option for governments that have few.
Even with the conditions in place, the death toll continues to rise in this state. Few would wish to contemplate what that figure may be if the protesters had their way - as NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard noted on Sunday, the virus cannot move if people do not carry it. Mercifully, the Hunter has added no new fatalities in recent days, and the fresh infections - spread across Jesmond, Islington, Edgeworth and Branxton - are not linked to aged care. That is a silver lining, and there is cause for hope. Before Sunday's figures, the region recorded just one case on Saturday. It was a tantalising preview of what fortifying the lines around the region can deliver, while Sunday was a sobering show of how hard the fight truly is.
For every incident of fatigue or lost focus, such as the Lake Macquarie woman found in Kurri Kurri in breach of isolation orders and fined thousands of dollars, there are a plethora of people stepping forward for vaccination.
Most people understand what is at stake, and can navigate the options to see that vaccination and driving case numbers down are the best options to reaching the goal of reinstating what had become normality. The state's leaders have regularly expressed frustration with those seeking out loopholes in the rules. The position is understandable when most know the laws' aims, but clarity is important. What is clear is today's actions write tomorrow's chapter. Nobody wants a tragedy.
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