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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

Northern Rivers Local Health District COVID-19 update

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Northern NSW Local Health District

Northern Rivers Local Health District COVID-19 update

Please attribute to Lynne Weir, Acting Chief Executive Northern NSW Local Health District
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Northern NSW, both close contacts of the man in his 50s reported yesterday.
All three cases are currently being cared for at Lismore Base Hospital, and all are in a stable condition.
To date there have been no additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents of Northern NSW Local Health District.
Northern NSW Local Health District has now been advised of the following close contact locations in the region:

Northern NSW Local Health District

Northern NSW Local Health District

Anyone who attended the above venues at the times listed is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days since they were there, regardless of the result.
NSW Health sends a text message to people who have checked in at close contact venues with further information. We also make a follow-up call to close contacts to discuss the isolation and testing requirements. If you have not received a text message, please call 1800 943 553.
As this situation evolves, these locations may be updated.
Under the current stay at home orders in place until 12.01am Tuesday 17 August, people in the four local government areas of Byron Shire, Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave.
They cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends. These rules apply to anyone who has been in these local government areas on or after Saturday 31 July.
If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it, and limit physical contact with people you do not live with.

Reasonable excuses to leave home are:

To obtain food or other goods and services
o in your local government area, within 10km of your home if reasonably practicable
o for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
o for vulnerable people
o only one person per household may leave the home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own)
leave home to go to work if
o you cannot reasonably work from home and
o the business is allowed to be open
• leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
• exercise and take outdoor recreation in the local government area you live in or 10km from your home
• go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.
More detailed information about the Stay at Home Orders, including a list of businesses that are closed, is available at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-regions
Hospital visitor restrictions tightened
Visitor restrictions are being tightened at the health facilities within the four LGAs under stay at home orders: Byron Shire, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Ballina.
Visitors are not permitted at facilities within these LGAs, unless they receive an exemption from the health facility.
An example of an exemption would be for compassionate reasons related to a patient receiving end of life care.
Any visitors who receive an exemption will need to comply with the entry and screening requirements, including checking in with QR codes and wearing a mask.
Women accessing birthing services can nominate one support person during her labour, birth and post-delivery.

These changes do not apply to hospitals and health facilities in the LGAs not included in the stay at home order.

For exceptional circumstances we encourage visitors and families to discuss their individual needs with staff. We know these restrictions can be challenging, and we appreciate your understanding during this time.

Don’t delay getting tested

We urge people to come forward for testing at the first sign of any COVID-19 symptoms.
Already in the first 24 hours since this case was identified, we have seen increasing numbers of people presenting to our testing clinics.
There are more than 25 testing clinics across Northern NSW, and you do not need a referral to get a test. COVID-19 testing is free.
All the local testing clinics and their opening hours are listed on the NSW government website at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or, you can also contact your GP.

COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

Tweed Byron enter 7-day lockdown Tuesday evening

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QR codes, masks and tests please

Tweed Byron enter 7-day lockdown Tuesday evening

From 5pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021, residents of Tweed and Byron LGAs are ordered to stay-at-home for at least 7 days.

This order was confirmed by NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, during a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday morning.
The orders also apply to any person who has been in either of these affected LGAs since September 18, or in the Kempsey LGA since September 14.

Ballina has escaped the order, although fragments of Covid-19 virus were detected in sewage in Ballina and Wardell overnight.

The lockdown order follows the arrival of a Covid-19 positive man into the Northern Rivers region from Sydney on the weekend. Northern NSW Local Health District advised the man was infectious in the Byron, Ballina and Tweed areas between Saturday, September 18 and Monday, September 20, after landing at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport at 8:45am on Saturday direct from Sydney on Virgin flight VA 1141.

Hazzard said today the man had been authorised to travel to Northern NSW for work and was tested on arrival, however it was only after a second test health authorities discovered he was positive.

Everyone in Tweed and Byron LGAs must now stay at home unless for essential reasons including shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise, and work/tertiary education if you can’t work or study at home.

People can attend an outdoor gathering of up to five people for exercise or outdoor recreation if all in the group aged 16 or older are fully vaccinated.

Geoff Provest, Member for Tweed, said a strong response to testing will be a key factor in determining if these stay-at-home orders are extended beyond a week.

“I encourage everyone with the mildest of symptoms to get tested immediately and isolate until a negative result is received,” he said.

An exasperated Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, said the situation was a joke and called for rapid antigen testing at the Ballina Byron Airport for anyone arriving in the Northern Rivers, to protect the region from Covid-19 arrivals, a view shared by Ballina MP, Tamara Smith.

“I cannot believe we’re in this situation, completely avoidable again, businesses shutting down again, school holidays ruined again, it beggars belief,” Mayor Lyons said.

The Queensland Government has not confirmed if Tweed and Byron LGAs are removed from the restored border bubble.
Lismore LGA remains in lockdown until at least Thursday, September 23, and is excluded from the border bubble arrangement until further notice.

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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

NORTHERN NSW LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT COVID-19 Update

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QR codes, masks and tests please

NORTHERN NSW LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT COVID-19 Update

There were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents of Northern NSW Local Health District, to 8pm Thursday 16 September.
Yesterday there were more than 1,000 tests conducted in the Northern NSW Local Health District.
To determine the extent of the risk and detect any further potential COVID-19 cases in our area, we are calling on the communities to come forward for testing in large numbers.
A strong response to testing will be a key factor in determining if the current stay-at-home orders for Lismore are extended beyond one week.
For the week of 5–11 September there were 4,976 tests conducted amongst NNSWLHD residents, compared to 5,746 tests conducted during the previous week.
Anyone with even the mildest of cold-like symptoms is urged to immediately come forward for testing and isolate until a negative result is received.
Please continue to check this page regularly, as the list of venues of concern and relevant health advice are being updated as new cases emerge and investigations continue.
If you are directed to get tested for COVID-19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the rules given to you by Health staff, whether or not the venue or exposure setting is listed on the NSW Health website.
All residents of the Lismore LGA, and anyone who visited Lismore since September 7 are subject to ‘Stay at Home’ requirements.
Testing clinics in the Lismore region
We’d like to remind the community that there is a new drive-through testing at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre (GSAC), 50 Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah. This clinic also accepts walk-ins.
The clinic will be open from 8am to 4pm Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September at this stage. PAGE 2 OF 2

Other clinics located in Lismore are:
• • _Lismore Base Hospital – Uralba Street, Lismore, open seven days, 9am-5pm. Appointments not required
• • _Lismore 4Cyte Pathology Drive-through Clinic – 47-49 Dawson Street, Lismore. Open Saturday and Sunday 8am-2pm, appointments not required
• • _Lismore Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology – 62 Wyrallah Road, Shop 12, Wyrallah Road Shopping Centre, Lismore. Open Monday – Saturday, appointments not required
• • _Southern Cross University Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology Drive-through Clinic Military Road, Southern Cross University, East Lismore. Open Tuesday to Friday, appointments not required.

For those outside of the area, there are more than 500 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

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COVID-19 Northern Rivers News

Warning issued ahead of planned unauthorised protest activity

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Warning issued ahead of planned unauthorised protest activity

Police are warning would-be protesters to stay at home this weekend, with a significant police operation to be launched in response to planned unauthorised protest activity.

Preparations are underway for a highly visible and mobile police operation to disrupt any protests and prevent mass gatherings across the state.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott warned anyone thinking of protesting this weekend to stay at home, and not come into the city.

“There is no doubt that these protests are a risk to public health – for the community, for police as well as for the individual health of the protesters themselves,” Mr Elliott said.

“We’ve seen past protesters end up contracting COVID-19, so anyone who is still considering protesting needs take a good hard look at themselves.”

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, Metropolitan Field Operations, said the operation would mirror previous operations, which had been extremely successful in preventing and disrupting protest activity.

“We are continuing to monitor online commentary ahead of tomorrow and have put in place an extremely mobile police operation with significant resources, to respond to whatever situation we are faced with.

“I have said before and I will say it again – we take the health and safety of the community extremely seriously.

“I would again appeal to the community to do your part to protect your loved ones and the wider community by staying at home, unless you are complying with the requirements of the public health order.

“Engaging in an unauthorised protest does not comply with the public health order and anyone choosing to attend or participate for that purpose should expect to be met by the police and face penalties ranging from a fine to being arrested.”

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