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January 30, 2023

COVID weekend summary: Aquarius and a new Tweed case

Latest News

Saint Bob of the Greens in Lennox Head

With hardly a vacant seat in the auditorium, Bob Brown kept the party faithful’s eyes, ears and hearts glued...

Other News

Survival/Australia Day celebration – Byron Shire

There are events being held across the Byron Shire on January 26 to celebrate both Survival and Australia Day.

Shroom Bros

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Local MP mute over PM diary secrecy

Local federal Labor MP, Justine Elliot, has declined to comment on why her government are refusing to provide the diary of Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, as a public document. 

Missing woman, Elanora

Police have charged a 30-year-old man with multiple domestic violence offences as the search continues for 61-year-old Wendy Sleeman,...

Bundjalung host Byron Shire Survival Day 

Main Beach Park in Cavanbah – Byron Bay, was the place where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered yesterday to celebrate the longest-living culture in the world – people who are now living on unceded land.

Lismore City Council’s awards ceremony

Sophia Watt was named Lismore City Council’s 2023 Citizen of the Year at an awards ceremony held at the Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre yesterday.

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is encouraging residents and visitors to Byron Bay to get tested for COVID-19, after being notified of a number of confirmed cases in the area during the last week.

Northern NSW Local HealthDistrict, Chief Executive, Wayne Jones, says these cases were infectious in the Byron Bay community from Saturday 20 November to Thursday 25 November and have since left the area. ‘They are not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers in Byron Bay, and are linked to an existing case outside the District.’

Contact tracing is underway, and close contacts are being notified directly by NSW Health.

‘More than 80 QR check-ins have been recorded in association with these cases across the Byron Bay business district’, says Mr Jones. ‘Including the West Byron industrial estate and a number of nearby hospitality and tourism venues.

‘In line with the state-wide protocols, people who have been at a venue at the same time as a positive case will receive an alert through the ServiceNSW app.

Mr Jones says that given the high volume of location alerts, Northern NSW Local Health District is encouraging anyone who has been in the Byron Bay area between 20 and 25 November to get tested for COVID-19. ‘If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to isolate while awaiting your test result.

New case on the Tweed

One new case of COVID-19 was reported for Northern NSW Local Health District to 8pm, Friday, November 26.

The case is in the Tweed Local Government Area and is a household contact of an existing case.

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported for Northern NSW Local Health District to 8pm, Saturday, November 27.

Mr Jones says anyone in the community who develops even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested and isolate immediately even if they are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 symptoms can include:

• a slightly runny nose
• fever
• cough
• scratchy or sore throat
• shortness of breath
• loss of taste, smell or appetite
• fatigue
• nasal congestion
• muscle or joint pain
• headache
• diarrhoea
• nausea or vomiting
• unexplained chest pain
• conjunctivitis

Testing clinics in and around Byron Bay

• QML Pathology drive-through, Cavanbah Sports Ground, Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay. Open Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 2pm.

• Byron Central Hospital, Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay. Open seven days a week, 9am – 5pm.

• Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, 1 Byron Street, Byron Bay. Open Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm, closed weekends.

• Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, Shop 4 Ocean Shores Shopping Village, 84 Rajah Road, Ocean Shores. Open Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 3.30pm. Closed weekends

• Sullivan Nicolaides Mullumbimby, 125 Dalley Street, Mullumbimby. Open Monday – Friday, 7am – 3pm. Closed weekends.

Find your nearest testing clinic on the NSW Government website.

Grafton Base Hospital testing clinic location change

The Grafton Base Hospital COVID-19 testing clinic is moving to a new location from today, Monday, November 29.

The clinic will be located in the Training Building, at 120 North Street, Grafton which is located opposite the corner of North and Mary Streets.

The clinic will continue to be open seven days a week from 9am – 5pm.

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

Aquarius Backpackers

Northern NSW Local Health District 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 early last week.

All initial tests from contacts at the venue have now been processed, and no positive results have been received.

Health staff are working closely with guests to determine appropriate isolation settings for each person and provide advice on requirements.

A number of guests have now left the premises, with approval from NSW Health, and there are fewer than 60 people remaining on site.

All close contacts will undergo mandatory day-six testing on Monday 29 November, and final determinations about isolation requirements will be made once those results are known.

While the fact that no new cases have been identified so far is welcome news for health authorities and the Byron community, the NNSWLHD continue to urge residents and visitors to take COVID-safe measures when out and about.

These include wearing masks where appropriate, checking in with QR codes, washing hands regularly or using hand sanitizer, and not going out if unwell.

We know that active cases continue to be present in the community from time to time. A public health alert has been issued for anyone who was in Byron Bay between 20 and 25 November to come forward for testing as a precautionary measure. If you do not have symptoms, you do not need to isolate while awaiting your result.


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.

1

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.

3

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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Environment law fails to protect threatened species

A University of Queensland finding says that the federal environmental laws are failing to mitigate against Australia’s extinction crisis.

Dr Philip Nitschke to visit Lismore

Controversial founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, Dr Philip Nitschke will hold a free public meeting on NSW’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying Act at the Lismore Workers Club on Saturday.

Bundjalung host Byron Shire Survival Day 

Main Beach Park in Cavanbah – Byron Bay, was the place where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered yesterday to celebrate the longest-living culture in the world – people who are now living on unceded land.

Ballina’s Citizens of the Year announced

Ballina Shire Council announced its Australia Day Awards yesterday at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre. The awards were presented by Sandra Jackson and netballer Liz Ellis, with music by Katie Rutledge and Levi Maxwell. The event was also livestreamed.