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Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

COVID positive sewage detections at Lennox Head and Ballina

Latest News

Dr Kerry Chant COVID-19 stats update for January 21 to 27 and local update

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant gave her weekly COVID-19 stats update this morning during Premier Dominic Perrottet’s press conference.

Other News

Storylines – Aboriginal Tent Embassy 1972–2022 – the power of patience

As the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy draws near, the attention of the nation is again being drawn to the lawns of Old Parliament House. However, this time the actions of the few do not encompass the views and needs of First Nations people.

COVID update for January 24

Dr Kerry Chant spoke to the media this morning with a COVID update saying that in terms of our hospitals, we've currently got 2,816 People in hospital including 196 People in ICU, of whom 69 are ventilated.

Richmond Valley Council Citizen awards

The contribution made to the Richmond Valley community by its citizens was recognised on 26 January through a range of awards and most particularly through the award of Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year. 

Community building and disaster resilience

If you’ve ever wanted to be a volunteer, the Community Carers and Responders might be where you can lend a hand.

Lennox Head forge ahead across four grades in local cricket

Local cricket is approaching the midway point of the 2021–22 season and sees Lennox Head playing strongly across all four senior grades.

Ballina community leaders honoured

Koala conservationist Maria Matthes was named Ballina's Citizen of the Year in yesterday's Australia Day Awards, which were closed to the public but livestreamed from the Lennox Head Cultural Centre.

After fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 were detected at Lennox Head and Ballina sewage treatment plants, Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people with even the mildest of symptoms to get tested.

Acting Chief Executive Ms Lynne Weir said while no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among residents of the District, these detections indicated the virus could be circulating in the area.

‘It remains very important that anyone who has any symptoms or is a close or casual contact of a person with COVID-19, isolates and is tested immediately,’ she said

‘Testing and contact tracing are amongst the most effective tools for controlling spread of the virus.

‘When testing clinics are busy, please ensure you stay in line, identify yourself to staff and tell them that you have symptoms or are a contact of a case.’

As well as being present in stools, viral fragments can enter the sewer when washed off hands and bodies through sinks and showers. Usual sewage treatment processes inactivate, or kill, the COVID-19 virus.

Positive detections were found in samples from 12 August at the Lennox Head sewage treatment plant, which serves about 7,700 people, and the Ballina plant, which serves about 31,100 people.

Hospital visitor restrictions tightened

To protect patients and staff, visitor restrictions are being tightened at all health facilities across the Northern NSW Local Health District.

‘Visitors are not permitted at facilities across the District unless they receive an exemption from the health facility,’ said Ms Weir.

‘An example of an exemption would be for compassionate reasons related to a patient receiving end-of-life care. Any visitors who receive an exemption will need to comply with the entry and screening requirements, including checking in with QR codes and wearing a mask.

‘Women accessing birthing services can nominate one support person during labour, birth and post-delivery, without requiring an exemption.’

Ms Weir also reminded people to follow the stay-at-home orders that now apply across NSW. ‘Everyone must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. They also cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends. For detailed information, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules.

There are more than 440 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.

To find your nearest clinic visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protectyourselfand-others/clinics or contact your GP.

NNSWLHD is also urging people to check the Commonwealth Government’s https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covid-19-vaccine-eligibilitychecker and, if eligible, to book an appointment for a vaccination as soon as possible.


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Dr Kerry Chant COVID-19 stats update for January 21 to 27...

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant gave her weekly COVID-19 stats update this morning during Premier Dominic Perrottet’s press conference.

2

School return comes with COVID-19 measures

Today is the official first day of term one in most NSW schools and as students and parents prepare to start the school year, there are new guidelines in place to manage COVID-19 infections.

0

Storylines – Aboriginal Tent Embassy 1972–2022 – the power of patience

As the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy draws near, the attention of the nation is again being drawn to the lawns of Old Parliament House. However, this time the actions of the few do not encompass the views and needs of First Nations people.

3

COVID-19 update: restrictions extended by a month

The State's COVID-19 restrictions have been extended for a month, as another 29 people with the virus passed away.

8

COVID update for January 24

Dr Kerry Chant spoke to the media this morning with a COVID update saying that in terms of our hospitals, we've currently got 2,816 People in hospital including 196 People in ICU, of whom 69 are ventilated.

0

January 21 National Cabinet on Omicron, RATs, vax and treatments

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a media release about yesterday's meeting of the National Cabinet.

0

Biz step up to feed frontline staff

Local paramedics will be able to get free coffee and snacks at selected local cafes, as part of a major community effort to support frontline health workers during the ongoing and increasing COVID-19 outbreak.

0

Hospitals under strain

With ever increasing pressure on health services across the nation and locally, how are health staff coping – and are there enough ICU beds and ventilators to cope with the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases?

5

1,114 cases of COVID-19 in the Northern Rivers in last 24...

The Northern NSW Local Health District say that to 8pm yesterday, January 17, there were confirmed 1,114 new PCR cases of COVID-19.

7

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

The Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’ to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics. 

9


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Richmond Valley Council Citizen awards

The contribution made to the Richmond Valley community by its citizens was recognised on 26 January through a range of awards and most particularly through the award of Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year. 

How depression makes people vulnerable to misinformation

A US study has found that people suffering from depression are much more likely to believe misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Countbacks or by-elections for Ballina?

Cr Rod Bruem's first appearance in the Ballina Council chamber saw an attack on ALP candidates who narrowly failed to win seats in the recent local government election, with the councillor claiming it would be undemocratic for a countback to include 'rejected' Labor Party candidates if another councillor was unable to serve during the next 18 months.

Community building and disaster resilience

If you’ve ever wanted to be a volunteer, the Community Carers and Responders might be where you can lend a hand.