Update 12.55pm 16 September:
The stay-at-home orders for seven days will also apply to anyone who has been in Lismore since 7 September due to recent COVID-19 exposures.
‘With movement, a case can [make an area] go back into lockdown as we’ve seen in Lismore… A more nuanced approach with a seven day restriction [has been used] at this stage,’ says Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro.
‘There is one case in Lismore. It seems that there were a number of exposure sites and that’s why we are concerned.
‘There are no further cases that they are aware of. There may be more exposure sites. Will have more to say this afternoon. We will have to look at these impacts this afternoon.’
The Evans Head exposure site is in the Richmond Valley Council LGA however, Barilaro said that they are taking a flexible approach.
‘The case is in Lismore,’ he said.
‘We will have a look a the exposure site in the Richmond Valley but I’d be almost certain that the Richmond Valley won’t go into lockdown.’
A NBNSWLHD spokesperson clarified that ‘Everyone in the Lismore LGA must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason, which includes shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise and work or tertiary education if you can’t work or study at home.
‘Lismore residents who are fully vaccinated can attend an outdoor gathering of up to five people for exercise or outdoor recreation as long as all of those aged 16 or older are fully vaccinated.’
Lismore local government area (LGA) is going into lockdown for seven days from 6pm tonight following a positive case of COVID-19 in Goonellabah yesterday.
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it may be longer depending on how many people come forward for testing.
‘Testing is encouraged… if local residents don’t come out to get tested then we will operate on a more cautionary principle,’ he said at today’s press conference.
‘Get tested if have any symptoms, if you have been near any contact areas get tested.’
Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro said that ‘We know there was a parent that returned back to Lismore with a child. There was exposure at a school.’
’I understand that it was a parent returning a child home [from Sydney].
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said that the ‘Main driver is because of the exposure in the school and community more broadly. Knowing some of the vaccine hesitancy in the area we would have more caution.’
Lismore Mayor Vanessa Ekins told The Echo that ‘while it is difficult for everyone, especially our local businesses that have just opened up, we know that a snap lockdown is effective’.
Exposure sites Lismore and Evans Head
Muzza’s Milk Bar, 1/5 Oak Street on Sunday 12 September between 1.15pm to 1.45pm.
Silly Solly’s, 185 Keen Street, Tuesday 14 September between 8.55am to 9.00am
Lifeline Shop 71 Magellan Street, Tuesday 14 September between 9.05am to 9.20am.
Mr Barilaro said that the government is looking at the NSW Queensland border bubble saying that they will ‘we will work with the cross border commission… [and look at] how this will impact the border bubble’.
Tweed Shire Mayor told The Echo that ‘This is nerve-wracking for us, to wait and see what this will mean for the Northern Rivers and for the border zone with Queensland.
‘It is the case we have been dreading, and the reason the exclusion zone for the Northern Rivers was so desperately sought.’
There were 1,351 locally acquired COVID-19 cases and 12 people have died in NSW until 8pm last night.‘
Dr Gale said that there are ‘231 people in ICU with 108 people on ventilation… of the 231 in ICU 177are not vaccinated.’