TWO NEW LOCAL CASES
COVID UPDATE - 11.10am MONDAY August 23
Very encouraging news - just 2 new cases were recorded in the Hunter-New England health district in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. This brings the total number of cases in our health district to 163, with 151 still active but in isolation.
Sadly, a man in his 80s has died in the local region overnight. He was a resident of the Masonic Village at Edgeworth and died in John Hunter Hospital overnight.
Of those two new cases, 1 is from the Lake Macquarie LGA (at Toronto, and was infectious for a short period in the community before their positive test); and 1 is from Cessnock LGA (at East Branxton but was not infectious in the community).
Both cases are linked to previously reported cases, with the Toronto case linked to the Costco outbreak. 32 people are now being treated for Covid at JHH.
STATEWIDE: There were 818 new cases recorded throughout NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Sadly, two more deaths were also recorded in Sydney overnight. This brings the number of COVID-related deaths in NSW to 74 since 16 June, and the number of lives lost to 130 since the beginning of the pandemic.
HOSPITALISATIONS: There are 586 people currently being treated for Covid-19 in NSW hospitals, with 100 in ICU and 32 on ventilators.
NEW EXPOSURE SITES: HNE Health has named a number of new exposure sites overnight, including several supermarkets at Glendale and Cardiff. You can see those new sites on my website here
MASKS: A reminder that wearing a mask in any public area outdoors is now mandatory (unless exercising). This applies to all of NSW. This obviously does not include your front yard or in your car while alone or with members of your own household. We all need to apply some common sense here: if you're in a public area outdoors where other people are gathering or moving around, wear a mask at all times. If walking the dog is your exercise, you don't need a mask if there's no one else around, but common sense should tell you to wear one if other people are around.
WORK PERMITS: As previously reported, the new work permit system is now in effect for people moving out of or in to Sydney.
I'm aware that some local people who do essential work in Sydney's 'areas of concern' have had trouble getting the permits because the online system doesn't recognise their local address. Service NSW has informed me that their system is being upgraded and people who live locally, but need a permit to work in those areas of concern, will be able to get one online from this Saturday, August 28. In short:
- people living on the Central Coast but working in Lake Macquarie or Newcastle will NOT need a permit;
- people leaving the local area for other parts of regional NSW will NOT need a permit;
- people living locally but working on the Central Coast will NOT need a permit.
- people living locally but working in the hotspot areas of Sydney WILL need a permit. (This does not apply to other parts of Sydney, just the 12 'areas of concern').
Full details on who does and doesn't need a permit is on my website here
Please stay safe, stay vigilant, and stay home unless you absolutely have to go somewhere.