• Kevin Pollard & Tony Bosworth

COVID update –159 new and 1013 active Hawkesbury cases – Clarendon test centre reopens tomorrow



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


We’re told the Clarendon drive through test centre at Hawkesbury Showground will be open tomorrow morning, after over a week of no test centres being open anywhere in the Hawkesbury.


But let’s see what tomorrow brings…official information about test centres has been nothing if not often confusing and sometimes contradictory.


Meanwhile in the land of solid facts, 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.


NSW has the forth highest increase per capita in COVID cases in the world in the last 24 hours at 4.29 per thousand people, ahead of the US at 3.25 and the UK at 2.75.

Today’s Hawkesbury figures:


* 159 new cases in the Hawkesbury in the last 24 hours, after 222, 111, 106, 100, 135, 104, 69, 41, 26 new cases on previous days.

* There was zero active cases in the Hawkesbury on November 23 and now there are 1013.



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


* 97 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)

* 32 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)


* 1 in the 2757 postcode (Kurmond)


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



Total active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury as of 8pm January 5 - and postcodes they are in:



* 535 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, etc) - was 466 yesterday


* 271 in the 2753 postcode (Richmond, Londonderry, Grose Vale, etc) - was 251 yesterday


* 109 in the 2758 postcode (Bilpin, East Kurrajong, etc) - was 96 yesterday


* 89 in the 2754 postcode (North Richmond, Tennyson, The Slopes) - was 83 yesterday


* 9 in the 2757 postcode (Kurmond) - was 10 yesterday

* 8 in the 2775 postcode (Lower Macdonald, St Albans) - was 7 yesterday



Today's headlines:


* Of the 34,994 new NSW COVID cases recorded today (35,054, 23,131, 20,794, 18,278 cases on previous days) reported to 8pm, Wednesday, January 5 - 1503 are from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, which includes the Hawkesbury.


* There were 111,231 COVID-19 processed tests to 8pm last night, compared with the previous days of 108,844, 83,376, 96,765, 90,019, 119,278 tests.


The WHO says 5% positive tests means a virus is under control. Today, 31.46% of the tests carried out in NSW in the last 24 hours were positive (34,994).


* The positivity rates were 32.21%, 27.74%, 21.49%, 20.30%, 18.93% on previous days.


* Kevin says, “If there were the same amount of tests processed today as there were when it was easier to get a test between December 21-24 plus on December 28 and December 30 when people were desperate (average was 155,247 per day over those 6 days) and with the 32.21% positivity rate there would be 48,842 new cases in NSW today after 50,015 yesterday.”


* Cases over the last 4 weeks have been approximately 80% Omicron and 20% of the far more dangerous Delta.


* 90% of all 208 people in ICU in Australia have Delta and only 10% Omicron, and for the 3283 in hospital in Australia it's about 75% Delta and 25% Omicron.


* Most in hospital are aged over 18, with around 9 aged under 18 in ICU.


* Nine out of the 131 people in ICU in NSW have the Omicron variant.


* Today, NSW Health announced that a man in his 20s from the ACT, who was fully vaccinated and had no known underlying health issues, died of COVID (Delta) at St Vincent’s Hospital.


* 135 fully vaccinated people have died of COVID in NSW since June 16 2021, with the youngest group being 5 people in their 50s.


* Nobody in their 30s and 40s, let alone 20s, who have been fully vaccinated have passed away, until today.


* The large majority of the 135 vaccinated people who have died had underlying health issues, but this man today was seemingly healthy, young, and yet he died.


* Why? Possibly because vaccines start to wane 4 months after your second dose, hence the importance of a booster shot, and Delta is still a major threat, even though it only represents 15% of the new daily cases.


* PM Scott Morrison says people who have a positive RAT will no longer need to get a PCR. National Cabinet has also agreed to provide free RATs to concession card holders, seniors, low income cards, and others to be distributed via pharmacists. There'll be a limit of 10 tests over three months.


* The PM says: "We are working on a system through our GPs and other processes for people to report that they have got a positive test. It is not about COVID counting case numbers anymore. It is connecting people to care."


* The Australian Medical Association warns today: "GPs don't have anywhere near the capacity/staff/resources to deal with the expected enormous amount of enquiries from RAT and PCR positive people and staff will not know what to tell them as they haven't been briefed and cannot assist adequately."


* Not recording key statistics of a significant disease like COVID will affect epidemiological understanding and future modelling and planning for it.


* PM Morrison and Premier Perrottet said last week, "you shouldn't be lining up for a PCR test if you don't have symptoms or aren't a close contact." RATs are only 70% accurate and hardly work in detecting Omicron unless people test when they have strong symptoms only.


Kevin says, "So, if you have symptoms but a negative RAT then you don’t need a PCR? If you have symptoms and a positive RAT then you don’t need a PCR?...so no one needs a PCR, no cases recorded = pandemic over in Australia? It’s Donald trump logic - if you don’t test you don’t have the cases."


* Premier Perrottet announced yesterday there will be a spike and then a significant decline in cases in two weeks. Logically, much of that decline will be due to people with positive RATs no longer being clinically PCR tested and people not lining up for a PCR test - and so not showing up in the official COVID cases results. Cases far lower, problem solved?


Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity: "The 'let it rip' strategy has pretty much destroyed testing and tracing as working strategies for epidemic control. The public has been left to their own devices as all our previous safeguards collapse around us. Australia has swung from one extreme in pandemic control to the other – having great control of COVID, to now having the world’s highest rise in daily cases."


* PM Morrison said today you can get Pandemic Leave payment if you can’t work due to COVID. But people need a PCR diagnosis and to have been directed to isolate. RATs don't meet the requirements on the Federal Government website.


* NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has warned the state may suspend elective surgeries as hospitals struggle with growing COVID infections.


* PM Morrison has made it clear today schools will "go back and stay back" from day one of term one this year following an agreement reached at National Cabinet.


* In Victoria, RAT results will be reported in daily data alongside PCR confirmed cases. It will be mandatory to report a positive result to the department of health through a new online forum or by phone, this will be active from sometime tomorrow. You must isolate for 7 days.


* Density limits will return in Victoria as of midnight on Thursday: Indoor entertainment and hospitality venues will now be subject to a one person per two square metre density limit.


* Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Argentina, Portugal and Greece all record pandemic record daily COVID cases.


* The US reports 716,714 new COVID cases, setting a world record for cases in a 24 hour period, with no backlog on tests.


* France records 336,343 new cases, a pandemic record and far more than the previous record of 271,686 yesterday.


* French President Emmanuel Macron has called France's 5 million unvaccinated citizens "non-citizens" and stated "I really want to piss them off. And so we will continue to do so to the bitter end. That's the strategy." Governments are getting bolder every day with this rhetoric.


* Italy makes COVID vaccination legally mandatory for those 50 and older and bans unvaccinated people over the age of 50 from going to work, starting February 15. Vaccine passports will be necessary also to enter shops, banks, and hairdressers/barbers as they report a pandemic record 189,109 new COVID cases.


* Israel, the most triple vaxxed/boostered country on the planet posts a pandemic record 17,232 cases, up 402% from last week.


* England has recorded 92 Omicron deaths and 5124 Delta deaths over the last 4 weeks.


* Australia records 72,398 cases after 64,763, 47,808, 37,215, 35,278, 32,946, 21,151, 18,242, 18,192 on previous days. On December 9, 2021 Australia recorded 1,651 new cases.



How we compare State by State:


NSW - 34,994 new cases, 207,667 active, 1,609 in hospital (+118) and 131 in ICU (+12) plus 6 deaths - 31.46% positive rate

VIC - 21,997 new cases, 61,120 active, 631 in hospital (+40) and 51 in ICU (-2) plus 6 deaths - 33.91% positive rate

QLD - 10,332 new cases - 32,312 active, 284 in hospital (+19) and 12 in ICU (+2) - plus 1 death - 29.66% positive rate

SA - 3,070 new cases - 21,215 active, 123 in hospital (-2) and 12 in ICU (0) - 16.02% positive rate

ACT - 992 new cases - 3,565 active, 20 in hospital (+4) and 2 in ICU (-1) - 24.39% positive rate

TAS - 751 new cases - 3,534 active, 6 in hospital (+1) and 0 in ICU (0) - 30.03% positive rate

NT - 256 new cases - 855 active, 149 in hospital (+2) and 2 in ICU (+2) - 9.63% positive rate

WA - 6 new cases - 57 active, 0 in hospital (0) and 0 in ICU (0)


Australia - 72,398 new cases, 337,817 active, 3,283 in hospital (+282), 208 in ICU (+12), 65 on a ventilator (+9).


Australia previous pandemic peaks: 1551 in hospital on 28 September 2021 - 312 in ICU on 16 October 2021, 184 of whom were on a ventilator on 16 October 2021.



COVID cases in hospital, ICU, and on a ventilator, plus vaxx status:


1609 people are in hospital in NSW with COVID (was 1491, 1344, 1204, 1066, 901 on previous days) and 68.8% of them are fully or triple vaccinated - 2.7% one dose, 28.6% are not vaccinated.


131 are in ICU (119, 105, 95, 83, 79 on previous days) - 51.0% fully or triple vaccinated, 1.2% one dose, 47.8% not vaccinated.


38 on ventilators (32, 27, 25, 24, 26 on previous days) - 51.0% fully or triple vaccinated, 1.2% one dose, 47.8% not vaccinated.


There were 166 people in hospital 22 days ago - 1609 today.


There were 21 people in ICU 23 days ago - 131 today.


There were 7 on ventilators 22 days ago - 38 today.


NSW previous pandemic peaks: 1268 in hospital with 242 on ventilators on 21 September 2021.



COVID deaths 6 today – none in the Hawkesbury:


NSW Health is reporting the deaths of 6 people with COVID - five men and one woman aged in their 20s, 60s, 80s, and 90s.


Two people were from the Lake Macquarie area, three were from western Sydney, and one was from the ACT.


The man in his 20s from the ACT died at St Vincent’s Hospital. He was fully vaccinated and had no known underlying health conditions.


The death of a man in his 50s reported yesterday was 53-year-old artist Craig Ruddy whose portrait of the late actor David Gulpilil won the Archibald Prize in 2004. Sydney-born but living in Byron Bay, he was not vaccinated and had a chronic and serious lung condition from childhood.


There have been 637 COVID-related deaths in NSW since this Delta/Omicron outbreak started. One person has died of Omicron in NSW (and Australia) - a man in his 80s from Parramatta who died on December 26. He was fully vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.


At least 43 of the 637 have died at home and 24 of them didn't know they had COVID at the time of death.


137 of the 637 COVID-related deaths in NSW since 16 June 2021 were people fully vaccinated.


The 137 deaths among people fully vaccinated - 1 in their 20s, 5 people in their 50s, 6 people in their 60s, 41 people in their 70s, 47 people in their 80s, 36 people in their 90s and 1 person in their 100s. *Two people in their 80s and three people in their 90s had received their booster shots.


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.



Vaccine status in NSW, by the end of today, January 6:


16 years and over: 93.70% fully vaccinated and 95.08% first dose.


12-15 year olds: 78.50% fully vaccinated and 81.72% first dose.


16-19 year olds: 84.4% fully vaccinated and 91.6% first dose.


All 8.2 million NSW residents (aged 0 and over): 79.4% fully vaccinated and 80.3% first dose.


All 25.67 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 77.19% fully vaccinated and 79.76% first dose.


Three jabs: of 25.67 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 12.61% have had 3 jabs (was 11.60% yesterday).


3,235,800 third (booster) doses have been administered in Australia.


Another record day for boosters, 222,565 booster doses administered yesterday.



NSW Covid vaccination status (of cases during Delta outbreak from June 16 until January 5, 2022).


Based on NSW Health Surveillance Reports to December 18 and cases since.


637 COVID deaths: Not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years (0), 60.6% not vaccinated (386 people), 17.9% had received 1 dose (114 people), 20.7% were fully vaccinated (132 people), 0.8% were fully vaccinated with 3 doses ie triple vaccinated (5)


1783 in ICU: 1.1% not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years, 64.6% not vaccinated, 4.2% had received 1 dose, 30.1% were fully vaccinated.


9772 hospitalised: 4.8% not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years, 41.8% not vaccinated, 3.8% had received 1 dose, 49.6% were fully vaccinated.


336,045 total cases: 21.5% not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years, 11.6% not vaccinated, 4.1% had received 1 dose, 68.2% were fully vaccinated.





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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