• Kevin Pollard & Tony Bosworth

COVID UPDATE – Hawkesbury, 55 active cases, 14 new - masks on again from midnight



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

We produce this report for those of our readers who are interested in the ongoing situation in our own backyard. If you don’t agree with these regular factual reports for whatever reason, please scroll on by.

The last round-up we did was back on Monday when there were 28 active Hawkesbury cases.

Today there are 55 active cases of COVID in the Hawkesbury, so almost a doubling in three days.

Hospitalisations are growing quickly across NSW, though the total numbers are still relatively small – 166 in hospital nine days ago to 347 today (109% increase), 21 in ICU 10 days ago to 45 today (114% increase), 7 on a ventilator 8 days ago to 13 today (86% increase).


This afternoon, Premier Dominic Perrottet made mask wearing mandatory once again in all indoor settings – apart from your home – until January 27. The move follows a record-breaking 5715 new NSW cases in the last 24 hours.


Our numbers guru – Kevin Pollard – has been through the latest NSW Health figures and we’ve got them here.


Thanks to Kevin for all his great work.



Today’s headlines:


* 14 new Hawkesbury cases - 8 are linked


* 55 active Hawkesbury COVID cases


* 5715 new reported NSW COVID cases in the last 24 hours


* Density limits of one person per 2sqm rule in hospitality venues will start on December 27 and last until January 27.


* People have been asked to work from home during the holiday period and into January.


* QR code check-ins have to be reintroduced in retail and hospitality venues in NSW after being stopped just 8 days ago.


* NSW government is working to secure a mass order of rapid antigen tests (which would help shorten PCR testing queues) to be made freely available via posting kits in the mail.


* NSW residents are again encouraged to use rapid antigen tests (if you can find them!) before going to large-scale events like Christmas gatherings and high-risk settings such as hospitals, clubs and pubs.


* Premier Perrottet prefaced the restrictions by saying key numbers are ICU, hospitalisations and ability of health workers to provide the care people need.


* As of today, there are almost 1500 health care workers in NSW either sick with COVID or are close contacts and isolating and can't come into work.


* Premier Perrottet says: "If you get a notification from the Service NSW app, monitor for symptoms but do not get a test if you do not feel unwell. At the moment what we're seeing is that many people across the state who are asymptomatic and do not feel unwell are lining up for a PCR test. This is putting enormous pressure on the system.”


* Kevin Pollard says, “That's the way to get reported numbers down. Omicron spreads really quickly and many people have mild symptoms and are asymptomatic. This will distort the reported daily case numbers and contribute to a possibly false sense that it’s going to be okay.”


* GPs say they are at breaking point with thousands of COVID patients in NSW being shifted into their care as millions become eligible for boosters within weeks. Dr Kerry Chant has notified GPs that low-risk patients diagnosed with the virus will need to “undertake self-care at home” and GPs will be responsible for managing symptoms and treatment.


* 45 of 943 (4.77%) patients currently in hospital in Australia have the Omicron variant. 2 are in ICU and there have been no deaths so far.


* 80% of NSW's COVID-19 cases at the moment are Omicron and 70% of all cases are in the age group of 10 to 39-year-olds.


* Data from Denmark, South Africa and the UK point to reduced severity from infection with the Omicron strain. Those people who test positive with the Omicron variant have a 30-40% lower risk of being hospitalised for a night or more compared to Delta. Booster shots will increase protection and reduce transmission.

* But…the Omicron variant is spreading faster than any virus in history and this surge could overwhelm medical systems as even though the virus may only be less than half as severe as Delta, the sheer number of cases and that fact Omicron cases double every 2-3 days you lose the benefit of it being less severe in 2-3 days.


* Of the 5715 new NSW cases (3753, 3057, 2501, 2566 cases on previous days) reported to 8pm, Wednesday, December 22 - 148 are from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, which includes the Hawkesbury.


* In the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, there were 115 yesterday, 84, 45, 55, 47, 26, 32, 19, 21, 15, 14, 17, 18 cases on previous days.


* 148 new cases is a pandemic record for daily cases in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD. The previous record was 115 new cases yesterday.


* There are 347 people with COVID in hospital (was 302, 284, 261, 227 on previous days), 45 (40, 39, 33, 28, 26 on previous days) people in ICU - 13 (12, 11, 11, 10 on previous days) of whom require ventilation.



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


* 6 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)


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

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


* 1 in the 2757 postcode (Kurmond)


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


* The 2757 postcode, Kurmond (population 868) now have their first COVID case since March 25, 2020 bringing the total to two COVID cases in that postcode since the start of the pandemic.


Total active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury as of 8pm December 22 - and postcodes they are in


* 28 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, etc) - was 23 yesterday


* 13 in the 2753 postcode (Richmond, Londonderry, Grose Vale, etc) - was 11 yesterday


* 9 in the 2758 postcode (Bilpin, East Kurrajong, etc) - was 6 yesterday


* 2 in the 2754 postcode (North Richmond, Tennyson, The Slopes) - was 0 yesterday


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

* 1 in the 2757 postcode (Kurmond) - was 0 yesterday



Vaccinated numbers - in NSW, by the end of today, December 23

16 years and over: 93.54% fully vaccinated and 94.96% first dose.


12-15 year olds: 78.34% fully vaccinated and 81.63% first dose.


16-19 year olds: 84.1% fully vaccinated and 91.6% first dose.


All 8.2 million NSW residents (aged 0 and over): 80.7% fully vaccinated and 79.0% first dose.


All 25.67 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 76.55% fully vaccinated and 79.48% first dose.


Booster jabs - All 25.67 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 7.71% have had 3 jabs (was 7.29%, 6.50%, 5.66%, 5.62% on previous days).


1,978,200 third (booster) doses have been administered in Australia.



NSW COVID vaccination status (of cases during Delta outbreak from June 16 until December 22)


Based on NSW Health Surveillance Reports to December 4, and cases since.

596 COVID deaths: Not eligible for vaccination as aged 0-11 years (0), 63.4% not vaccinated (378 people), 18.8% had received 1 dose (112 people), 17.8% were fully vaccinated (106 people).


1626 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.


8247 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.


103,525 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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