WITH easing of restrictions across NSW, but still high numbers in the Hunter New England region, people need to remain vigilant about social distancing and mask-wearing to avoid a "massive upsurgence" in case numbers, Hunter New England Health public health physician Dr David Durrheim has warned.
There were 82 new cases of COVID recorded in the Hunter New England region in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday night, scattered widely across the region, bringing the total of active cases to 1,136.
What we need to do now to make sure that we keep safe is to get vaccinated, Dr Durrheim said.
"Two doses of vaccine is our best protection as the virus spreads more widely in our community," he said.
"The second really important thing is to appreciate as we generally do in the regions, is we need to be sensible. And being sensible at the moment really is about just keeping in place those measures that have kept us safe so far - the mask wearing, the distancing the avoiding crowded environments while we catch up and hopefully eventually pass Sydney with our vaccination rates.
"These are the measures at the moment that are absolutely critical if we want to make sure that we don't see a massive upsurgence of cases in the Hunter New England region."
Dr Durrheim said it was also important, and some people have not yet realised, that people who are double vaxed, if you are a close contact of a case you will still need to be isolated.
"Strict self isolation for seven days, and get a test on day 6 before you can actually be released from self-isolaton," Dr Durrheim said.
Hunter New England health said there were 24 active cases in hospital, with three in intensive care.
The breakdown of cases were:
- 28 in Lake Macquarie
- 14 in Cessnock
- 9 in Newcastle
- 7 in Maitland
- 4 in Port Stephens
- 3 in Muswellbrook
- 1 in the Upper Hunter LGA, (plus two in Gunnedah and 10 in Tamworth.
Of the new cases, 47 were infection in the community, 62 cases were linked to known cases and were of unknown origin.
The state has recorded 496 new locally acquired COVID cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, as well as eight additional deaths.
Hillsborough Public School and Kahibah Public School are closed for cleaning and contact tracing, after at least one community member tested positive for COVID-19.
The Department of Education said all staff and students are asked to self-isolate and follow the NSW Health advice and protocols.
Kearsley Public School reopened on Monday, after closing on Friday for cleaning and contact tracing after at least one community member tested positive for COVID-19. Students and staff identified as close contacts have been notified and asked to self-isolate for the required period.
VACCINATION CLINIC UPDATES:
Dungog: Doug Walters Pavilion, Mackay Street Dungog, Saturday 16 October, 10am to 3pm, Walk-in (appointments not required); Open to those aged 12 years and over; those aged 12-15 years must be accompanied by an adult
Morisset: Masonic Hall, 5 Yambo Street, Morisset; Wednesday 13 October, 10am to 3pm; Walk-in (appointments not required), open to those aged 12 years and over; Those aged 12-15 years must be accompanied by an adult
Windale: PCYC Lake Street, Windale; Friday 15 October, 10am to 3pm; Walk-in (appointments not required); open to those aged 12 years and over;Those aged 12-15 years must be accompanied by an adult
Additional Pfizer vaccination bookings are also available in Armidale, Belmont, Moree, Muswellbrook, Tamworth and Taree.
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