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Byron Shire
June 19, 2024

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African variant

Latest News

Byron Council candidates jostle for position

It was the type of motion that comes up at Byron Council quite regularly – a broad, uncontroversial political statement that is unlikely to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. 

Other News

The incredible shrinking ambition of Peter Dutton

Last week, Peter Dutton's Liberal-National Coalition formally abandoned Australia's legislated 2030 emissions reduction target.

Editorial – Should Mullum’s water remain locally sourced?

The push by members of Council’s Water and Sewer Advisory Committee (WSAC) to retain Mullum’s local water supply is heating up...

No ‘key worker’ or ‘affordable housing’ for Ballina Council’s Wollongbar development

On the second last piece of Ballina Shire Council-owned residential land they have decided to develop the land with no affordable or public housing components. 

A deeper dive into plans to abandon Mullum’s local water supply

With Council seeking community input on its proposal to disconnect Mullumbimby’s local water source and instead be reliant on water supplied by Rous County Council, local Greens candidate and water engineer, Elia Hauge, has added her concerns around the lack of meaningful consultation and process.

Relocalising to find the life we all dream of

Everywhere we look we see signs of economic downturn, environmental destruction and social breakdown. It’s easy to wonder how we can ever improve our lives and those of our kids.

Byron Writers Festival locals’ passes on sale June 13

Byron Writers Festival and First National Byron have  partnered again to offer Sunday Locals Passes.

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

The warning comes after the detection of fragments of the virus in sewage samples from the East Lismore and South Lismore treatment plants on 17 and 24 November.

While waste from the Lismore Base Hospital is processed in the South Lismore plant, the ongoing presence of fragments at both Lismore treatment plants Northern NSW Local Health District, Chief Executive, Wayne Jones, says they are strongly encouraging people in the area to remain vigilant and get tested for even the mildest of symptoms.

A list of the latest sewage detections in NSW and information about the NSW Sewage Surveillance Program is available on the NSW Health website.

Alert for travellers from Africa

New rules for returning travellers regarding the Omicron B.1.1.529 variant of concern are now in place.

In line with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,

Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.

All travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours, pending further health advice.

NSW Health says is an offence not to comply with a Public Health Order and penalties can apply and that compliance checks will be undertaken.

It is critical that anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the nine African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call NSW Health on 1800 943 553.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested and isolate immediately if you have symptoms such as a runny nose, a scratchy or sore throat or are generally feeling unwell.

There are more than 450 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. Find a clinic on the NSW Government website or contact your GP.

No new cases at Aquarius 

NNSWLHD is continuing to support guests and staff at the Aquarius Backpackers in Byron Bay, in conjunction with other agencies, after a person at the venue tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

All close contacts will undergo mandatory day-six testing today and final determinations about isolation requirements will be made once those results are known.

Health staff are continuing to advise guests on appropriate isolation settings and testing requirements. There are now fewer than 50 people remaining on site.

‘We thank the Byron community for responding to calls to get tested as a precautionary measure,’ Wayne Jones. ‘Four active cases were known to be infectious in the community between 20-25 November.

‘Over the three days from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 November, more than 479 tests were conducted in Byron Bay, and for the week ending 28 November, there were 5,710 tests conducted across the District.

If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccination, you can find your closest clinic or make a booking at the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Fresh air federal funds for Northern Rivers schools in need

Eighteen schools in the Northern Rivers division of Richmond have received $25,000 each as part of the federal government’s School Upgrade Fund, Labor Member for Richmond Justine Elliot said last week.

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COVID-19 pandemic has cut life expectancy globally

COVID-19 reversed earlier trends toward longer life expectancies. During the pandemic, life expectancies globally dropped by 1.6 years according to a new study published in the Lancet medical journal.

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COVID-19 update for New South Wales

Let’s not forget that Covid-19 is still a big issue in our community with 31,935 cases reported across Australia in the last week – an average of 4,562 cases per day.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cartoon of the week – June 19, 2024

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