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Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

COVID update: record cases and fragments in Byron’s sewage

Latest News

Greens Mandy Nolan to hold community forum in support of nurses and paramedics

Locally and across the state nurses, and paramedics are struggling in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as they are being asked to do double shifts and manage effectively in health system that is struggling to cope. This has led to an increasing number of nurses and paramedics resigning.

Other News

1,051 new cases of COVID-19 for Northern Rivers

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) saw 1,051 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed to 8pm last night...

Bungawalbin primitive bush camp: death by a thousand cuts

Locals are raising concerns in relation to a Development Application for a ‘Community Facilities – Primitive camp ground' near Coraki that they say is a site prone to severe flooding and fire risk.

BoM tsunami warning for the NSW Coastline

The State Emergency Service (SES) has issued a tsunami warning as a result of an eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apa in the Tongan Islands at 3.10pm AEDT yesterday, Saturday, January 15.

Community the big winner at Rotary Duck Race

The Richmond River at Fawcett Park in Ballina was full of colour on the weekend for the 30th Rotary Duck Race. The event has raised a quarter of a million dollars for charity over its history in Ballina.

Band Called Stereo soon to be legends of Byron

A new group out of Byron, Band Called Stereo, have recently recorded and released the first single from their new album. Nothing extraordinary in that, apart from the fact that two of the members have just completed Year Ten and the other two have just complete Year Nine

SES issues Minor Flood warning for Lismore

Moderate rainfall across the Wilsons River catchment since Wednesday has caused significant river level rises along the Wilsons River and its tributaries, which has the potential to cause minor flooding along the Wilsons River at Lismore late Friday morning.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this morning at 11am, that in the 24 hour period to 8pm last night, there were a record 1,218 cases of community transmission and six families who lost a loved one.

Though she did not say they were record numbers, they are.

The Premier did however announce the record weekly numbers in New South Wales of the 834,000 people who were vaccinated. ‘It is an outstanding result. It has broken all our records. And I can’t thank everybody enough for coming forward to get vaccinated.’

Extra freedoms

In a comment that sounded like a promise to inmates, the Premier said that as a result of the jab numbers, and the 65 per cent of the population who have had at least one dose, and the 35 per cent of the population who are fully vaccinated, the state is halfway to that magic 70% number… ‘in order to have those extra freedoms’.

From the NSW Ministry of Health, Dr Jeremy McAnulty said it is fantastic to see the ever-increasing vaccination rates across the state. ‘This very important for us to conquer this, to live with COVID.

‘With the numbers, there have been 1218 locally acquired cases of New South Wales reported in the 24 hours to eight o’clock last night. In addition, there were three overseas acquired cases. There were 106,038 tests reported to eight o’clock last night, compared to the previous day’s total of 129,182 tests.

‘Unfortunately, we are seeing large numbers of people in hospital with COVID. 813 people are admitted at the moment with COVID in New South Wales hospitals, including 126 in intensive care and 54 who required ventilation.

Of those 126, 113 were not vaccinated and 12 had received one dose of vaccine.

Positive fragments in Byron sewage

Dr McAnulty says the ongoing sewage surveillance system has detected some further or positive fragments, in some places where we don’t have identified cases in regional New South Wales. These include Trangi, just west of Dubbo, Byron Bay on the north coast, Cooma and Tamworth.

‘We are concerned there may be cases unrecognised in these communities, so please come forward for testing if you have even the mildest of symptoms.’


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

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.


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.


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?


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.


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. 


Lung specialist ‘we’re doing the best we can’ and Hazzard lays...

At this morning's COVID-19 update press conference, Concord and Nepean Hospitals lung specialist Dr Lucy Morgan gave an update on COVID-19. Dr Morgan says she works as part of a team of people looking after patients with COVID.


Northern NSW Local Health District COVID update for January 14

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 8pm last night, January 13, there were 905 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the District – this figure does not include positive rapid antigen tests (RAT) for the reporting period.


Record breaking day of COVID deaths as Hillsong sings and dances...

As New South Wales breaks another COVID record with 29 lives lost in a single day, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet spoke to the media this morning with an update on the pandemic.


The PM’s report from the National Cabinet meeting yesterday

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released a media statement about the meeting yesterday of the National Cabinet.


What do you do next if you test positive to COVID?

With more than a third of callers to the National Coronavirus Helpline asking about isolation, healthdirect has launched a guide to help those who are COVID-19 positive know what they should do while isolating at home and when to seek medical help.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Why is this paper, which once professed to be independent, running party-line propaganda for the government and Big Pharma?
    Are you, like most Australians, scared?
    Surely with your independence you could run a balance of articles, including esteemed Australian Professor Borody’s proven in the field protocol for covid treatment.
    Perhaps then people could make an informed choice, which is difficult in the current climate of news blackout.
    Fear, fear, fear is all we hear.
    Come on Echo – lift your game.

    • AndyB, I assume you are referring to Prof Borody’s support for using ivermectin? If so, could you please provide a reference to the article where you conclude

      “Professor Borody’s proven in the field protocol for covid treatment”.

      I’m aware of references to his comments about ivermectin and in-vitro studies (ie in a “test tube”), but not to references to valid clinical studies on humans.

      Unfortunately, as far as I’m aware ivermectin hasn’t yet shown effectiveness as a treatment against COVID in humans in valid clinical studies, eg see this article in Nature on 2 Aug 2021 (link below). There was some excitement about a pre-print of a study of ivermectin for treating COVID in humans, but it has been reported that the study had numerous flaws, as summarised in the Nature article.

      I would dearly love to see a proven effective treatment for COVID. Perhaps one day ivermectin may be proven as an effective COVID treatment and then we will have grounds for much excitement globally.

      Nature article

      • Dr P, I’m referring to ‘in the field’ application, not clinical trials, or their outcomes.
        When a doctor is facing a storm, he uses what works to save his patients. He doesn’t wait years for approval. You should be very familiar with ‘off-label’ use of drugs as it is common practice.
        When the ‘authorities’ say stay at home until your lips turn blue then they are best ignored. If they are involved with the companies supplying the ‘vaccines’ they are best prosecuted.
        And when death certificates are manipulated and falsified it is grounds to suspect that something very unusual is happening.

        • Makes some sense Andy but when a doctor acts outside the guidelines one would assume he or SHE (or even non binary) has tried regulation things first. How is it evident what actually worked without a properly controlled experiment.

          If the results touted are so dramatic surely they are readily replicated in controlled studies. Remember ivermectin is also sold by pharmaceutical companies. Some of the anti inflammatory drugs that are used I believe are also relatively old and inexpensive.

        • AndyB, I’m aware that you are referring to “in the field” as seen in my question to you:

          “could you please provide a reference to the article where you conclude “Professor Borody’s proven in the field protocol for covid treatment””.

          Are you willing to share your source of information?


    • I regularly exercise by walking the streets and beach area in Byron Bay. I am amazed at the recent increase in the number of young people who appear to be backpackers. They have most likely moved from other LGA’s during this period of lockdown. They do not have a legal entitlement to do this. I have not seen any local Police stopping these people and checking ID’s which they have a right to do.

  2. How can reaching any percentage of ‘vaccination’ stop the spread of ‘the virus’ when the so-called vaccine is NOT guaranteed to stop you catching it or passing it on ?

    By the way, how come it has NOT been reported in Australia that the inventor of mRNA vaccine came out weeks ago in America and stated TV that it was NOT ready for extensive use as it has not been fully tested ?

    Instead, Wikipaedia deleted his name from their publication as the inventor.

    Vale freedom of speech !

    • Ross, Re your first question.

      if a vaccine is less than 100% effective in (a) preventing infection and (b) infecting others, then the percentage of the population that you need vaccinated for herd immunity is increased. This implies that the unvaccinated are not only at risk from other unvaccinated people, but also at risk from the small portion of vaccinated people that can be infectious.

        • Yes, the Israel data indicates that COVID vaccination provides a good level of protection, unfortunately less than 100%.

          In an article in the magazine, Science 15 Aug 2021, we see that vaccination rate is 78% (12yrs +) and around half of cases are vaccinated people; from that data one can estimate that the vaccinated have around a 70% lower chance of getting COVID, a bit lower than around 80% seen in other countries.

          The next important figure is the serious cases. In The Times of Israel 17 Aug2021, it is reported that “Among unvaccinated patients aged 60 and up, there were 154.7 serious cases per 100,000 people compared with 19.8 for their vaccinated counterparts”. Assuming the country wide vaccination rates apply to this age cohort, we can deduce that the COVID vaccine reduces the risk of serious COVID cases by approximately 87%.

          I think that is a meaningful outcome that will reduce deaths and strain on our hospitals, businesses and personal freedoms. Would you agree or disagree that this is a meaningful outcome?

  3. Where did you read that Ross. He also wasn’t the inventor but a contributor to the research. Rehash on Facebook or Twitter. The person did not say that, how about you read what the person said wholly, then you can make up your mind. The people against vaccination need to look at the statistics about hospitalisations comparing vaccinated against unvaccinated – startling. Next thing people want to use ivermectin after saying vaccination is a big pharma conspiracy or they don’t want unproven medicines- insanity to me as who makes this horse/ cow drug.

    • Rod, your minimising the fact that Wikipedia removed the name of the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology shows where you are coming from.
      Your portraying Ivermectin as an animal drug when it is one of the most widely used and safe anti-parasitic medications in the world simply confirms the fact.
      And pre-empting your next desperate attempt to gain traction – that it is an off-label drug – Ivermectin is used because IT WORKS: it saves lives when prescribed correctly and has saved hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide. Doctors who care for their patients use it.
      Doctors who live paralysed by fear have their hands tied to a one-trick pony that may yet prove to be a long term liability to the human immune system.
      Stop the fear and learn to live.

  4. When are we going to challenge the 70%-80% on the basis that NONE OF OUR CHILDERN are vaccinated or indeed can be?

    This percentage is trotted out proudly by Gladys… who does not have any children of her own…. without regard to the fact that children can catch Delta, children have died of Delta, children are spreading Delta.

    We know the COVID in the sewerage is because Gladys failed to secure Sydneysiders in Sydney. Special exemptions allow these Sydneysiders to come up here to buy up our real estate and the lockdowns have meant locals can’t earn an income ignorer to compete for this real estate.

    Gladys and her Macquarie St cronies have failed us miserably.

  5. Good on the Echo for printing the truth & not being influenced by many local ‘crystal hugging’ conspiratorial theorists . When Covid consumes your body & you are unable to breathe you won’t be seeking Reiki , but a ventilator. I can’t believe in 2021 that people refuse to appreciate science & what it has delivered. I’m not saying ALL science is perfect & I too loathe big Pharma , but in a pandemic we have to trust those ‘experts’ that are attempting to save our arses. By saying that I certainly don’t trust most politicians, including Gladys the Koala Killer or Scomo “I don’t hold a hose” useless advertising guy. If Gladys had of shut Sydney down when cases got to 3 (or 1 like in NZ) we would all be in a much safer position. In regards to Ivermectin it is totally useless for a ‘terminal’ viral condition, I’ve had to take it & it’s bacterial. Did any of the doubters ever pay attention in science classes ??? Stop reading crap on social media , read The Saturday paper or join Crikey or Getup for some honest credible reporting …..better still be grateful for the Echo.


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