• Kevin Pollard & Tony Bosworth

COVID update – 106 new and 619 active Hawkesbury cases - two local test centres unlikely to reopen



Welcome to Monday and the daily update of COVID numbers across our region.


All of our local COVID test centres have remained closed since just before New Year’s Eve and some reopen tomorrow – Tuesday - but it looks like Clarendon and Windsor’s Day Street, both operated by privately-owned Australian Clinical Labs, will not be reopening at all.


“Closed effective immediately until further notice” says the company’s website.


We’ve tried calling them – repeatedly - and engaging with their media team to ask what’s going on, but we’ve have had no response. We won't give up on that, so more when we get it.


Macquarie MP Susan Templeman said this evening:


"This is a terrible failure of governments to ensure people can access the health support they need. When you ask people to “take personal responsibility” you still need to give them the means to do that."


"So don’t queue early tomorrow at Clarendon - they won’t be open. I’ll be seeking advice from NSW Health about where people can go and where rapid antigen tests are available," said Ms Templeman.


We're also waiting on a response from Hawkesbury Liberal MP Robyn Preston - we asked her yesterday how come no Hawkesbury test centres were open over the holidays.


Our good friend Kevin Pollard has once again crunched the day’s numbers so we’ve got an excellent overview here of the Hawkesbury situation, and further afield too, giving our readers a detailed picture.


Kevin has also put together information on hospital numbers and news about developments as the Omicron and Delta variants continue to spread.



Today’s headlines:


* There are 106 new COVID cases in the Hawkesbury recorded in the last 24 hours – remember this is despite no test centres being open in our local government area.


* There are 619 active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury.


* Of the 20,794 new NSW COVID cases (18,278, 22,577, 21,151 cases on previous days) reported to 8pm, Sunday, January 2 - 668 are from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, which includes the Hawkesbury.


* There were 96,765 COVID processed tests to 8pm last night, compared with the previous days of 90,019, 119,278, 148,410, 97,201 tests.


* 21.49% of the 96,765 COVID-19 tests were positive (20,794).


* The positivity rates were 20.30%, 18.93%, 14.25%, 12.58%, 7.10% on previous days.


* Kevin says, "If there were the same number of tests processed today as there were between December 21-24 and on December 28 and December 30, the average was 155,247 per day over these 6 days, with the 21.49% positivity rate there would be 33,365 new cases in NSW today."


* New studies reinforce belief that Omicron is less likely to damage lungs. Six research groups’ findings all suggest the variant multiplies more in throats and causes less serious disease. A statement today from University College London: “In essence, it looks to be more able to infect the upper respiratory tract – cells in the throat. So it would multiply in cells there more readily than in cells deep in the lung. If the virus produces more cells in the throat, that makes it more transmissible, which would help to explain the rapid spread of Omicron.”


* St Vincent’s Hospital has proposed a $250 cash bonus per shift if staff agree to return to work early from their holidays, such is the shortage of staff, many of whom are isolating either with COVID or because they are a close contact of someone with the virus.


* The NSW Opposition (Labor) says parents deserve to know how the state government is preparing for COVID in the classroom. Students are set to return to school in less than four weeks but so far there’s been no word on how health measures will look in the classroom.


* UK COVID: Workplaces are told to plan for absences of up to 25%. UK Ministers have been tasked with developing "robust contingency plans" for workplace absences, as the government warned rising cases could see up to a quarter of staff off work. Big question is, could it happen in NSW?



New Hawkesbury COVID cases in the last 24 hours and postcodes they are in:


* 42 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)

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

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


* 12 in the 2754 postcode (North Richmond, Tennyson, The Slopes)


* 5 in the 2775 postcode (Lower Macdonald, St Albans)



Total active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury as of 8pm January 2 - and postcodes they are in:


* 328 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, etc) - was 290 yesterday


* 154 in the 2753 postcode (Richmond, Londonderry, Grose Vale, etc) - was 127 yesterday


* 69 in the 2758 postcode (Bilpin, East Kurrajong) - was 56 yesterday


* 61 in the 2754 postcode (North Richmond, Tennyson, The Slopes) - was 52 yesterday


* 7 in the 2757 postcode (Kurmond) - was 7 yesterday

* 5 in the 2775 postcode (Lower Macdonald, St Albans) - was 1 yesterday


Hospital numbers, cases, deaths


Hospital numbers continue to increase day by day.


* Previous NSW hospital peak: 1268 in hospital and 242 in ICU on 21 September 2021.


* There are 1204 patients in hospital in NSW today with COVID (was 1066, 901, 832, 746, 625 on previous days).


* 95 in ICU (83, 79, 69, 63, 61 on previous days).


* 25 on ventilators (24, 26, 19, 24, 23 on previous days).


* There were 166 people in hospital 20 days ago, 1204 today.


* There were 21 people in ICU 21 days ago, 95 today.


* NSW Health is today reporting the deaths of 4 people with COVID, two men and two women – none from the Hawkesbury.


* Two people were aged in their 70s, one in their 80s, and one in their 90s.


* All four were fully vaccinated, one of the four was triple vaccinated.


* 125 of the 621 COVID-related deaths in NSW since 16 June 2021 were people who were fully vaccinated.


* The 125 deaths among people fully vaccinated were 5 people in their 50s, 6 in their 60s, 38 in their 70s, 44 in their 80s, 32 in their 90s and 1 person in their 100s.


* Two people in their 80s and two people in their 90s who died had received their booster shots – the third vaccine.


* The large majority of those fully vaccinated who 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.



How we compare today:


NSW - 20,794 new cases, 141,722 active, 1204 in hospital (+135) and 95 in ICU (+12) plus 4 deaths

VIC - 8,577 new cases, 38,118 active, 491 in hospital (+19) and 56 in ICU (+4) plus 3 deaths

QLD - 4249 new cases - 20,239 active, 180 in hospital (+10) and 10 in ICU (+5) plus 1 death

SA - 2552 new cases - 15,322 active, 94 in hospital (+12) and 9 in ICU (+2)

ACT - 514 new cases - 2,116 active, 11 in hospital (+2) and 2 in ICU (+1)

TAS - 466 new cases - 1691 active, 2 in hospital (-1) and 0 in ICU (0)

NT - 58 new cases - 458 active, 21 in hospital (0) and 0 in ICU (0)

WA - 3 new cases - 36 active, 0 in hospital (0) and 0 in ICU (0)


Australia - 37,215 new cases, 218,510 active, 2156 in hospital, 172 in ICU, 51 on ventilators.




Big thanks to Kevin Pollard for the research and 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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