Hunter New England Health COVID update Friday, October 8

COVID detected in sewage in Taree for the first time.
COVID detected in sewage in Taree for the first time.

COVID-19 has been detected in Taree sewage this week, for the first time.

A further 97 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in Hunter New England Local Health District (HNEH) residents in the 24 hours to 8pm last night (Thursday, October 7).

The Mid Coast Local Government Area recorded six new cases, three in Taree, two in Nabiac and one in Minimbah.

Hunter New England Population Health public health physician, Dr David Durrheim said this brings the total number of cases in the district to 1532 since August 5, 2021.

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Of the new cases:

  • Twenty-seven are from Lake Macquarie, 23 are from Cessnock LGA, 17 are from Maitland LGA, eight are from Tamworth LGA, six are from Newcastle LGA, six are from Mid Coast LGA, six are from Singleton LGA, three are from Port Stephens LGA and one is from Gunnedah LGA.
  • Forty-two cases were in isolation for their entire infectious period, 34 were infectious in the community, and 21 are still under investigation.
  • Sixty-six cases are linked to known exposures or clusters, 10 are unlinked, and the source of 21 cases is under investigation.

Dr Durrheim said it is also important that anyone who is currently isolating in the community with COVID-19, calls for an ambulance should they experience a deterioration in their condition, including breathlessness and dizziness.

Sewage detections

The virus that causes COVID-19 was detected in samples from sewage catchments in Singleton, Tamworth, Qurinidi and Wee Waa on October 5 and Taree on October 6, said Dr Durrheim.

This is the first time COVID-19 has been detected in sewage in Wee Waa and Taree.

The last detection of COVID-19 in sewage in Singleton was reported on 27 September, Quirindi was last reported on 28 September, and the last detection in Tamworth was on 1 October.

There are currently no known cases in either Quirindi or Wee Waa catchment areas.

Dr Durrheim said the community should remain vigilant and get tested with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to immediately get tested. Testing sites can be located via www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-andwellbeing/clinics.

The NSW Government continues to publish vaccination rates by postcode and sewage surveillance detections.

Contact venues

New casual contact venue have been confirmed. The latest exposure sites are published on the HNE Health Facebook page and the NSW Government website.

Anyone who attended the following new venues listed at the specified dates and times is a casual contact (unless they have been contacted by NSW Health as close contacts) and must get tested and isolate until a negative test result is received.

| The Royal Spoon, Lorn on Thursday, September 30 from 4pm - 8:30pm

| Nabiac Hotel, Nabiac

  • Wednesday, Septembler 29 from 4pm - 5:25pm
  • Friday, October 1 from 5:05pm - 6:40pm

| The Royal Hotel, Taree on Friday, October 1 from 6:40pm - 7:10pm

| Horse & Jockey Hotel, Singleton

  • Tuesday, September 28 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm
  • Wednesday, Sept 29 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm
  • Thursday, September 30 from 4:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Friday, October 1 from 9:25am - 2:30pm
  • Saturday, October 2 from 10:30am - 2:30pm
  • Sunday, October 3 from10:30am - 2:30pm
  • Monday, October 4 from 10:30am - 2:30pm
  • Wednesday, October 6 from 12pm - 2pm

| H Boutique Hotel, Pokolbin on Wednesday 22 September from 2pm until Friday 1 October 11am

| Ten Tops Tamworth on Thursday 30 September from 5:35pm - 5:50pm

NSW Health alerts close contacts of all confirmed cases and directs them to be tested and self-isolate for 14 days from last contact, regardless of the result.

Dr Durrheim said anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to immediately get tested.

"Even people with mild symptoms, such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, headache, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should arrange testing as quickly as possible."

All testing sites can be located via www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-andwellbeing/clinics.

Those who have also attended any of the exposure sites listed on the HNE Health Facebook page and the NSW Government website at the specified times and dates should also seek testing, regardless if they have symptoms or not and follow the NSW Health directions.