• Kevin Pollard & Tony Bosworth

COVID by the numbers – 4 new and 11 active Hawkesbury cases - was 6 active two days ago


Welcome to Thursday evening and our round-up of the last 24-hours of COVID stats for the Hawkesbury, and further afield.


Given the majority of COVID restrictions have been lifted in NSW – including not having to wear masks in most shops even as we enter the busy next couple of weeks up to Christmas – we’ll continue to run these stories so anyone interested can get the facts.


Our numbers guru – Kevin Pollard – has been through the latest figures and has also pulled in information on what is happening overseas with the Omicron variant, the one now making its presence felt in Australia.


Thanks to Kevin for all his great work here.


Today’s headlines:


* 11 active Hawkesbury COVID cases – up from 6 two days ago.


* A record-breaking 1742 new NSW cases recorded in the last 24 hours - the highest number of daily cases in NSW during the entire pandemic.


* 1599 cases on September 11, 2021 was the previous daily pandemic high in NSW.


* Case numbers do matter - because you can predict the number of hospital admissions quite well from case numbers a week to 10 days earlier. Over in the UK, in London, hospital admissions are rising exponentially and are doing so faster than expected.



Snapshot - COVID overseas…


In common with most first world countries, here in Australia we have a very high vaccination rate against COVID – over 90% for those 16 and over - but…


* Britain's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warns there’ll be substantial numbers of Omicron patients going to hospital in the UK in coming weeks.


* UK reports 78,610 new COVID cases, by far the biggest one-day increase on record. Previous pandemic record was 67,794 cases on January 8, 2021. UK health officials are warning the highly transmissible Omicron variant is moving at an "absolutely phenomenal pace".


* WHO Special Envoy on COVID, Dr David Nabarro says he has never been as concerned about the pandemic in the UK as he is now and warns that the number of cases will overwhelm health systems.


* Jenny Harries, CEO of the UK Health Security Agency says Omicron is probably the most significant threat since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.


* European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says a "rapid increase in Omicron cases is imminent," warns that exponential growth will "rapidly outweigh any benefits" of a potentially reduced severity.


* France reports 65,713 new COVID cases, the biggest one-day increase on record. Previous pandemic record was 63,405 new cases yesterday.


* Denmark, which has the highest number of confirmed Omicron cases, reports 8,773 new COVID cases, the biggest one-day increase on record. Previous pandemic record was 8,314 yesterday. Australian born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark tested positive yesterday. No other family members have tested positive. 78.3% of Denmark's entire population fully vaccinated (Australia's is 75.7%), 24.3% boosted.


* South Africa reports 26,976 COVID cases the biggest one-day increase on record (26,645 on July 3, 2021 was previous record). 54 deaths, 32.2% positivity rate. Yesterday, South Africa reported 23,884 COVID cases and 24 deaths, 34.9% positivity rate.


* South Korea rolls back "living with COVID-19" policy as cases and deaths reach all-time high in the last 48 hours; restrictions to be reinstated.


And here in Australia…


There are now 122 confirmed Omicron cases in NSW (was 110, 85, 64, 55, 45, 42 on previous days). .


To date, one Omicron case has been admitted to hospital in NSW for treatment of COVID, and 1 in Queensland.


The large majority of the 167 Omicron (was 146 yesterday) cases in Australia (122 NSW, 18 VIC, 13 ACT, 6 SA, 6 QLD, 2 NT) are fully vaccinated.


There have been at least 759 NSW schools with COVID cases (most schools close for a day, but not all schools report or close after a COVID case) since the beginning of Term 4 on October 5 (there have been 53 school days).


And in our backyard – Neapean Blue Mountains Local Health District…


Of the 1742 new NSW cases (1360, 804, 536 cases on previous days) reported to 8pm, Wednesday, December 15 – some 32 are from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, which includes the Hawkesbury.


In the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, there were 19 cases yesterday, 21, 15, 14, 17, 18, 17, 10, 7, 6, 12, 5, 26, 3 cases on previous days.



NSW by the numbers…


There were 143,938 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous days of 104,501, 86,562, 74,997, 90,804 tests.


The 143,938 tests were the highest in NSW since 147,975 tests on 11 September 2021.


1.21% of the 143,938 COVID-19 tests were positive (1742).


The positivity rate was 1.30% yesterday, 0.93%, 0.71%, 0.53% the days before that.


The Reff (effective transmission number) is 2.33, was 2.12 yesterday. When the Reff number is high (1.3 is considered high), the virus spreads faster so this is definitely a significant COVID wave in NSW.


40% (704 of 1742) of NSW cases today are aged 20 to 29. Only 1 in 10 people in this age group are currently eligible for a booster shot.


887 of today's 1742 cases were in Sydney (50.9%)


An enormous 633 cases (36.4% of all cases) are from Hunter New England LHD (was 424, 224, 28 on previous days, was 7 last week).


267 are in the Newcastle LGA (was 243, 116 on previous days), 213 in the Lake Macquarie LGA (was 76, 48 on previous days) and 45 in the Maitland LGA (was 69, 28 on previous days). Central Coast LGA has 43 cases after a pandemic high 49 cases yesterday.



New COVID cases in the Hawkesbury - and postcodes they are in [last 24 hours]


* 3 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, Bligh Park, Clarendon, Ebenezer, Mulgrave, Pitt Town, South Windsor, Freemans Reach, McGraths Hill, Upper Colo, Central Colo, Colo Heights, Lower Portland, Glossodia)


* 1 in the 2758 postcode (Bilpin, East Kurrajong, Kurrajong, Kurrajong Heights, Kurrajong Hills, Mountain Lagoon, Wheeny Creek, Mount Tomah, Berambing, Blaxlands Ridge, Devils Wilderness)



Plus - The new cases to 8pm, Tuesday, December 14 [we didn’t have these numbers yesterday]


* 4 from the Hawkesbury, 2 are linked


* 2 in the 2753 postcode (Richmond, Richmond Lowlands, Londonderry, Grose Vale, Grose Wold, Bowen Mountain, Hobartville, Yarramundi, Agnes Banks)


* 1 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, etc)


* 1 in the 2758 postcode (Bilpin, East Kurrajong, etc)



Total active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury as of 8pm December 15 - and postcodes they are in


* 5 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, etc) - was 2 two days ago


* 4 in the 2758 postcode (Bilpin, East Kurrajong, etc) - was 2 two days ago


* 2 in the 2753 postcode (Richmond, Londonderry, Grose Vale, etc) - was 1 two days ago


* 0 in the 2754 postcode (North Richmond, Tennyson, The Slopes) - was 1 two days ago


There are 7647 active cases (was 6233 yesterday) in NSW.



COVID deaths and hospital numbers – no deaths in the last 24 hours

There were zero recorded deaths in NSW due to COVID in the last 24 hours.


There have been 589 COVID-related deaths in NSW since this Delta outbreak started on June 16.


At least 43 of the 589 have died at home, and 24 of them didn't know they had COVID at the time of death.


103 of the 589 COVID-related deaths in NSW since June 16 were people who were fully vaccinated.


The 103 deaths among people fully vaccinated were 5 people in their 50s, 6 people in their 60s, 31 people in their 70s, 34 people in their 80s, 26 people in their 90s and 1 person in their 100s. One person in their 80s and one person in their 90s had received their booster shot.


The large majority of the people that were fully vaccinated and died of COVID had underlying health issues, over half had significant health issues, almost a quarter were in palliative care, many were elderly and in aged care facilities, some had disabilities.


There are currently 192 people with COVID in hospital (was 166, 168, 171 on previous days), with 26 (24, 21, 24 on previous days) in ICU, 8 (7, 9, 9 on previous days) of whom require ventilation.


There are an additional 3398 COVID patients being cared for outside a hospital setting. This includes medi-hotels (i.e. special health accommodation) or collaborative care-private hospital (i.e. where the care of the patient is outsourced to a private hospital).


There have been 84,295 locally acquired cases reported since June 16, when the first case in this outbreak was reported.


Vaccinated numbers - in NSW, by the end of today, December 16


16 years and over: 93.35% fully vaccinated and 94.87% first dose.


12-15 year olds: 77.93% fully vaccinated and 81.39% first dose.


16-19 year olds: 83.5% fully vaccinated and 91.6% first dose.


All 8.2 million NSW residents (aged 0 and over): 80.4% fully vaccinated and 78.8% first dose.


All 25.67 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 75.77% fully vaccinated and 79.07% first dose.


Third jabs – the booster: Of all 25.67 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 4.33% have had 3 jabs (was 3.79% yesterday).


1,112,670 third (booster) doses have been administered in Australia with a huge increase in the last four days.


37.6% of all boosters administered in Australia have been administered in the last four days. The first 3rd jab was October 23.



NSW COVID vaccination status (of cases during Delta outbreak from June 16 until December 15)


Based on NSW Health Surveillance Reports to November 27, and cases since.

* 589 COVID deaths: Not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years (0), 63.5% not vaccinated (374 people), 19.0% had received 1 dose (112 people), 17.5% were fully vaccinated (103 people).


* 1569 in ICU: 0.9% not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years, 85.6% not vaccinated, 7.8% had received 1 dose, 5.7% were fully vaccinated.


* 8002 hospitalised: 4.4% not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years, 76.2% not vaccinated, 9.8% had received 1 dose, 9.6% were fully vaccinated.


* 84,295 cases: 20.1% not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years, 58.6% not vaccinated, 10.1% had received 1 dose, 11.2% were fully vaccinated.



Big thanks to Kevin Pollard for crunching the numbers.

Our source information - link to NSW Health figures:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/find-the-facts-about-covid-19






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