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December 2, 2022

Regional areas coped better than the city during COVID

Latest News

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According to a study of people living in the city and those who don’t, rural and regional communities across NSW have fared better than those in Sydney in dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.

The findings of the first major representative study of COVID-19 mental health impacts in NSW, undertaken on behalf of the Mental Health Commission of NSW, shows that one-in-five people in the Sydney area experienced a new mental health issue during 2020, compared to one-in-10 across the state as whole.

NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey said rural and regional residents reported experiencing fewer relationship, financial and practical impacts than those in the city during 2020.

Current stay-at-home orders in Sydney yet to be measured

Mental health responses to the most recent stay-at-home orders in greater Sydney are yet to be measured, but Ms Lourey said ‘pandemic fatigue’ may well have increased negative mental health experiences for many people.

‘Unsurprisingly, the impact of COVID-19 and the associated shut-downs has been more muted in rural and regional communities than it has been in Sydney,’ Ms Lourey said.

‘Overall, younger Sydney metro residents were more likely to report either negative or positive impacts than older people living in rural or regional NSW.

‘Over 30 per cent of those in rural and regional communities reported experiencing no negative impacts during 2020, compared to 20 per cent of those in the greater Sydney area. Having said that, they also experienced fewer of the positive impacts reported by those in metro areas, such as being more careful with money, less road and public transport congestion and a slower pace of life.

More anxious, more stressed and less in control

‘Although the negative impacts of COVID-19 were less, around one-third of rural and regional residents reported being more anxious, more stressed and less in control than usual during 2020,’ Ms Lourey said.

‘At the same time, regional and rural residents were more likely than those in the city to name looking out for neighbours and the elderly as ways in which their community has benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic.’ 

The study involved 2,000 NSW residents aged over 18 – including more than 600 from rural and regional NSW – representing a cross-section of the community, with a further sample of people who reported a mental health issue in 2018-2019 or a new mental health issue in 2020 – as advised by a health professional.

The research was commissioned to provide insight into the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in NSW, the types of support being accessed and their impact on those living with mental health issues, and identify what is needed to support wellbeing as the fallout from COVID-19 continues.


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Five graphs you need to see before the Global Carbon Budget...

The Global Carbon Budget is about to be refreshed, giving the world a critical insight into how efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are (or are not) progressing.

2

Public transport mask mandate to end

Masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport from tomorrow, Wednesday 21 September.

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NSW Police: be COVID-vigilant at Splendour in the Grass

SW Police are urging festival-goers at this weekend’s music festival to celebrate in a safe and responsible manner, whilst also being aware of COVID-Safety measures.

2

COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, Sunday May 22, there were 40 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.

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AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

The AEC says that voters who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to phone in their vote in the federal election.

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COVID-19 update: May 16

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 15 May, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the District, including 82 positive PCR tests and 302 positive rapid antigen tests.

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It’s National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia says volleys are the backbone of the country in times of crisis and emergency.

1

COVID-19 update: May 9

Today there are 41 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with none of these in ICU.

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COVID-19 update: May 6

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) reports that there are 37 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.

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COVID-19 update: Monday 2 May

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that in the 24 hours to 4pm yesterday, 1 May, 274 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the area, including 56 positive PCR tests and 218 positive rapid antigen tests

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COVID-19 update: Friday, April 29

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, 28 April, 398 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the region, including 74 positive PCR tests and 324 positive rapid antigen tests.

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COVID-19 update: Thursday April 28

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, there were 541 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region, including 143 positive PCR tests and 398 positive rapid antigen tests.

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COVID-19 update for Wednesday, April 27

The  Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) reports that to 4pm yesterday, 26 April, there were 569 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region, including 74 positive PCR tests and 495 positive rapid antigen tests.

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COVID numbers up heading into the long weekend

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, 21 April, 754 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the region, including 137 positive PCR tests and 617 positive rapid antigen tests.

3

COVID-19 rules to change from Friday

The NSW Government has just announced updated rules in regards to COVID-19 including changes around close contacts and international travel.

8

COVID numbers on the rise again after long weekend

Not unexpectedly, the number of COVID-19 positive cases has risen after the long weekend and the Northern NSW Local Health District has reported 631 new cases in the region to 4pm yesterday, 19 April, including 102 positive PCR tests and 529 positive rapid antigen tests.

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COVID-19 update for April 19

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 18 April, there were 385 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the District, including 58 positive PCR tests and 327 positive rapid antigen tests.

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COVID-19 update: April 9 – 11

The Northern NSW Local Health District report that for the weekend up until 4pm yesterday, 10 April, there were 1,246 new cases of COVID-19 including 272 positive PCR tests and 663 positive rapid antigen tests.

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Gulihl Art exhibition – bringing First Nations artists and their connection to Country to you

Byron’s ‘pop-up’ Firefly Art Gallery is presenting the work of local First Nations artists in the upcoming Gulihl Art exhibition in Marvell Hall.

A gentle day for refugee and asylum seeker families

Promoting community awareness, assistance and support, for asylum seekers and refugees, the Pottsville Refugee Support Group recently hosted refugee and asylum seeker families from Logan at a fun day at the beach.

Brunswick, Belongil and Tallows wait for Emergency Response Beacons

In early November two men were saved from drowning at Dreamtime Beach, Fingal Head when a women activated the Emergency Response Beacon, alerting the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre that the men were drowning. There are three waiting to be deployed in Byron Shire.

Dogs – stay out 

Byron’s Main Beach and playground is a no-dog area. About ten signs clearly state this and unless someone is indifferent, or dumb, or a...