• Kevin Pollard & Tony Bosworth

Hawkesbury’s COVID-free status doesn’t last – 3 active cases – plus new variant Omicron in NSW

Welcome to Sunday evening and our in-depth Hawkesbury numbers and COVID local news.

This round-up of Hawkesbury COVID numbers is compiled by numbers guru Kevin Pollard using NSW Health datasets, and is up to 8pm on Saturday evening.

Our thanks to Kevin for putting the numbers together and compiling the well researched news snippets in this easily accessible format.

Coupled with our regular news updates when we hear about new COVID venues, this builds into a useful daily source of information for Hawkesbury residents.

Today’s headlines:

* On Thursday after 15 days of no new cases, a COVID-positive case was recorded in our 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.

* There was another case recorded on Friday in the 2753 postcode.

* NSW Health says there are now a total of 3 active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury. We’re not sure how that has happened unless someone has changed their address to the Hawkesbury, which is possible, given there had previously been no new cases for 15 days, and cases fall off the list after 10 days.

* Of the 235 new NSW cases (261, 276, 248 cases on previous days) reported to 8pm, Friday, November 26 - six are from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, which includes the Hawkesbury.

* There are 90 active COVID cases (was 73 yesterday) in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD:

* In the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, there were 4 cases yesterday, 16, 11, 1, 8, 12, 5, 9, 11, 5, 5, 7, 6 cases on previous days.

* There were 62,044 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous days of 73,027, 74,926, 80,317, 52,302, 45,405, 55,330 tests.

* 186 of today's 235 cases were in Sydney (79.1%).

* There are 2699 active cases (was 2359 yesterday) in NSW.

The WHO designates the new coronavirus strain as a variant of concern, names it Omicron.

* It has been confirmed today – Sunday – Omicron is already in Australia.

*NSW Health confirmed Sunday afternoon that urgent genomic testing had found two overseas fully vaccinated travellers infected with the new Omicron COVID variant of concern.

* The department said both passengers, who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday, are asymptomatic and in isolation in the Special Health Accommodation. 260 passengers and aircrew on the flight are considered close contacts and were directed to isolate.

* Most of the world has now closed border/flights to foreign travellers to/from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Seychelles due to the new Omicron variant.

* There are confirmed Omicron cases in England, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, Belgium, Holland, Malawi, Turkey and Egypt but is likely in many other countries already.

* Israel reports 7 Omicron cases, including 3 people with no travel history, and 3 of the 7 are fully vaccinated. Israel is halting all foreigners from entering the country for the next 2 weeks. It's the first country in the world to shut its border to the world due to the Omicron variant.

* Dutch Health Institute says Omicron believed to be among many of the 61 COVID cases on two flights to Holland from South Africa.

* States and territories have announced new measures for international travellers entering Australia in response to the Omicron variant. All overseas arrivals into NSW are now required to get tested and isolate at home for 72 hours.

* NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has vowed for “the moment” to stick with plans to further reopen the state in mid-December despite concerns over the Omicron variant.

* Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt say the Omicron variant "potentially doesn't cause as serious an illness as other variants".

* South African doctor Angelique Coetzee says she was worried the new variant could hit older people – with co-morbidities such as diabetes or heart disease – much harder. “With the new Omicron variant, and if they are not vaccinated, we are going to see many people with a severe form of the disease”.

* South Africa reports 3220 new coronavirus cases, an increase of 263% from last week, with a positivity rate of 9.2%.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms face-masks return, and will be compulsory in shops and on public transport in the UK.

* Why were two letters in the Greek alphabet skipped to name the new coronavirus variant? WHO has provided this explanation: "Nu is too easily confounded with ‘new,’ and ‘Xi’ was not used because it is a common last name" (they mean, in China - China's President is Xi Jinping). Best practices for naming disease suggest avoiding ‘causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups."

*Here in NSW, there have been at least 462 school closures (not all schools report or close after a COVID case) due to COVID in NSW since the beginning of Term 4 on October 5 (there has been 39 school days).

Victoria has recorded 1061 new Covid cases plus 4 deaths after 1252 cases yesterday. There have been 449 COVID deaths in Victoria over the last 53 days.

New COVID cases in the Hawkesbury - and postcodes they are in

* 1 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)

NOTE: There were only 6 new cases in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD Saturday, although active cases have increased by 17. It's probably just a data error, but the length of an active case may be longer than 14 days. Nothing from NSW Health regarding this so far, but we’re on it.

Total active COVID cases in the Hawkesbury - and postcodes they are in

* 2 in the 2756 postcode (Windsor, Sackville, Wilberforce, etc) - was 1 yesterday

8 1 in the 2753 postcode (Richmond, Richmond Lowlands, Londonderry, Grose Vale, Grose Wold, Bowen Mountain, Hobartville, Yarramundi, Agnes Banks) - was 0 yesterday

COVID deaths and hospital numbers – no deaths in the last 4 days

There were no COVID deaths reported today. It’s the third day in a row of zero deaths.

There have been 573 COVID-related deaths in NSW since this Delta outbreak started on June 16.

At least 43 of the 573 have died at home and of those 24 didn't know they had COVID at the time of death.

The 24 people who died at home and didn't know they were Covid positive, were mostly (but not all) from non-English speaking and migrant backgrounds.

At least 94 of the 573 COVID-related deaths in NSW since June 16 were those fully vaccinated.

The 94 deaths among people fully vaccinated were 4 people in their 50s, 5 people in their 60s, 29 people in their 70s, 31 people in their 80s, 24 people in their 90s and 1 person in their 100s.

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.

6.41 million of NSW's 8.2 million residents are fully vaccinated.

There are 174 people with COVID (was 185 yesterday) in hospital, with 26 (27 yesterday) in ICU, 10 (10 yesterday) of whom require ventilation.

There have been 74,327 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, November 27

16 years and over: 92.44% fully vaccinated and 94.53% first dose.

12-15 year olds: 76.65% fully vaccinated and 81.38% first dose.

16-19 year olds: 81.6% fully vaccinated and 91.2% first dose.

All 8.2 million NSW residents (aged 0 and over): 78.7% fully vaccinated and 81.2% first dose.

All 25.9 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 72.78% fully vaccinated and 77.75% first dose.

NSW Covid vaccination status (of cases during Delta outbreak from June 16 until November 26)

Based on NSW Health Surveillance Reports to October 16, and cases since.

573 COVID deaths: 64.6% not vaccinated (370 people), 19.0% had received 1 dose (109 people), 16.4% were fully vaccinated (94 people).

1484 in ICU: 81.6% not vaccinated, 10.8% had received 1 dose, 7.6% were fully vaccinated

11,947 hospitalised: 76.5% not vaccinated, 13.1% had received 1 dose, 10.4% were fully vaccinated

74,327 cases: 72.9% not vaccinated, 14.3% had received 1 dose, 12.8% were fully vaccinated.

Big thanks to Kevin Pollard for crunching the numbers.

Our source information - link to NSW Health figures:


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