• Kevin Pollard & Tony Bosworth

Well done Hawkesbury - we’re officially COVID free – no active cases, 14 days with zero new cases

Good news here – we have not had any new COVID cases in the Hawkesbury for 2 weeks and today is the first day with no active COVID cases since this latest outbreak began in June.

According to NSW Health figures analysed today by our numbers guru Kevin Pollard, the last time there was a new Hawkesbury case was on November 9 when there were 2 new cases in the 2753 postcode, and those have now fallen off the active list.

It means out of a population in our local government area of 68,000 there are currently no recorded cases.

This doesn’t mean we can totally relax, of course, even though there was only one new case announced in the Nepean Blue Mountain Local Health District, which includes the Hawkesbury, in the last 24 hours - there were 8 the day before – there are still 70 active cases in the NBMLHD.

In the last 24 hours there were 173 new NSW cases reported, though that figure is generally trending down. Previous days figures were 180, 176 and 182.

So, let’s not let our guards down, but well done Hawkesbury.

But...Europe in fourth deadly wave of COVID

As we quietly congratulate ourselves, it is reasonable to ask whether Australia will be confronted with the same fate as Europe where COVID cases are once again rampant.

Several factors will determine this: vaccination rates, high uptake of third dose boosters, vaccination of children, and whether a comprehensive strategy of ventilation with vaccine-plus measures including masks, testing and tracing are used.

However, new OzSAGE modelling for NSW shows possible increasing cases from mid-December with a predicted peak in February 2022, despite high vaccination rates. OzSAGE warns if contact tracing is not maintained and children between 5–11 remain unvaccinated, hospitals may be overwhelmed again.

Australia's former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth has called on state governments to exempt children from mandatory vaccination laws, warning there is emerging evidence that getting jabbed should remain a choice for parents of 5 to 11 year olds.

Via the NSW Surveillance Report just published: A total of 41 children and young people aged 0-19 have been admitted to ICU with COVID in NSW since June 2021, an increase in 4 people since last week's surveillance report.

Meanwhile in Germany the country’s Health Minister has issued his starkest warning yet on the importance of getting vaccinated:

"By the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead," Jens Spahn told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte says anti-COVID riots are being carried out by 'idiots'.

Zero Covid Schools Australia have uncovered 6 previously unreported schools in NSW have had COVID cases and weren't closed: NSW Health have promptly said that they assessed the situation and advised that there is no requirement to cease school operations. They suspect the number of schools with cases that won't close will increase from now on.

There have been at least 436 school closures (not all schools report or close after a COVID case) due to COVID in NSW since beginning of Term 4 on October 5 (today is the 36th school day).

Today’s other COVID news:

* South Australia has opened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

* Victoria's fully vaccinated percentage for 12-15 year olds has overtaken NSW (VIC: 76.56% & NSW: 75.89%)

* COVID testing has cost taxpayers more than $1.75 billion in Australia with Medicare being billed. There have been 46.83 million tests with NSW accounting for 21.34 (45.6%) million tests and Victoria 14.7 million tests (31.4%). Over $850 million have been spent on tests in NSW and over $520 million on tests in Victoria.

* Victoria has recorded 827 new Covid cases plus 19 deaths after 1,029 cases yesterday. There have been 425 COVID deaths in Victoria over the last 48 days.

* 17 of Victoria’s 19 Covid deaths reported overnight were unvaccinated. The ABC says the 19 Victorian deaths are are mostly cases from recent weeks or months that have just been classified as COVID deaths. So, 19 people haven't died in the last day.

* There are 2632 active NSW COVID cases (was 2696 yesterday).

* 6.38 million of NSW's 8.2 million residents are now fully vaccinated, and 94 of those fully vaccinated have died of the virus.

* There are 196 patients with COVID (was 202 yesterday) in hospital in NSW, with 34 (30 yesterday) in ICU, 13 (15 yesterday) of whom require ventilation.

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

16 years and over: 92.02% fully vaccinated and 94.45% first dose.

12-15 year olds: 75.89% fully vaccinated and 81.09% first dose.

16-19 year olds: 81.2% fully vaccinated and 91.1% first dose.

All 8.2 million NSW residents (aged 0 and over): 78.2% fully vaccinated and 80.8% first dose.

All 25.9 million Australian residents (aged 0 and over): 71.92% fully vaccinated and 77.28% first dose.

NSW Covid vaccination status (of cases during Delta outbreak from June 16 until November 22)

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

571 COVID deaths: 64.6% not vaccinated (369 people), 18.9% had received 1 dose (108 people), 16.5% were fully vaccinated (94 people).

1467 in ICU: 81.6% not vaccinated, 10.8% had received 1 dose, 7.6% were fully vaccinated

11,925 hospitalised: 76.5% not vaccinated, 13.1% had received 1 dose, 10.4% were fully vaccinated

74,307 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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