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Byron Shire
January 21, 2022

167 active COVID-19 cases in Northern Rivers

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

Vax the child

I am writing about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations for children. I am and remain a vax-sceptic. My reasons are...

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.

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.

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

The earliest unequivocally modern human remains in Africa

There may be earlier remains of modern humans – but science is certain about these ones.

Lismore Women’s Festival cancelled

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that is sweeping NSW and other states in Australia the Lismore Women’s Festival has been cancelled.

Full vaccination for those 15 and over in the Northern NSW Health District (NNSWHD) has now reached over 90 per cent. The Tweed Local Government Area (LGA) is currently at 89 per cent full vaccination and the Byron LGA is in the last position at 84.4 per cent while its current active COVID-19 cases are in the highest position at 108.

‘Twenty-six new cases of COVID-19 were reported for NNSWLHD in the 24 hours to 8pm 13 December,’ Wayne Jones, Chief Executive, NNSWHD said.

‘Of the cases, 22 were in the Byron Local Government Area, one in the Ballina LGA, two in the Tweed LGA and one in the Kyogle LGA. Fifteen of the 26 cases are linked to an existing case or cluster, while 11 remain under investigation.’

While numbers of COVID-19 cases in Northern NSW are at a peak since the pandemic began, hospitalisations remain low according to a spokesperson for NNSWHD.

Active cases

‘The high vaccination rates were a key factor in keeping people out of hospital, and were critical to protecting people against the most severe effects of the virus,’ Mr Jones said.

‘We had been expecting to see a rise in cases over summer, in line with eased restrictions and more mobility across communities, and to see our vaccination rates also now at these high levels is extremely promising.’

Currently there are 16 active cases in the Tweed LGA, 26 in the Ballina LGA, 15 in the Lismore LGA and one in each of Richmond Valley and Kyogle LGAs.

‘Five cases have now been linked with the Woody’s Night Club in Byron Bay, while a total of 49 cases have been linked with the Coorabell Hall event on 4 December. Ten cases have now been linked with No Bones in Byron Bay,’ said Mr Jones.

‘We urge anyone in Northern NSW who develops symptoms such as a runny nose, a scratchy or sore throat, or is generally feeling unwell, to get tested and isolate immediately, even if you are fully vaccinated.

‘Across the District, 9,381 COVID-19 tests were reported in the seven days to Friday 10 December. This is a significant increase when compared to the previous seven day totals of around 6-,7000 tests.

Omicron

To date, no cases in NNSWLHD have been identified as the Omicron variant of concern.

‘The emergence of the Omicron variant is a timely reminder of the importance of booster shots in maintaining a high level of protection against the COVID-19 virus,’ Mr Jones said. ‘There are still plenty of days before Christmas to get vaccinated, to make sure you’re giving yourself and your loved ones the best chance at staying well during the festive season.’

Cars lining up waiting for the drive through COVID testing unit to open at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay. Photo supplied.

Testing

In response to continued high testing demand in the Byron Shire, the QML Pathology Drive-through Clinic at the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Road has extended its opening hours, now operating from 8am to 4pm, seven days a week.

There are more than 450 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. Find your nearest clinic on the NSW Government website or contact your GP. If you have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, we encourage you to attend one of the walk-in or booked vaccination clinics which are operating throughout Northern NSW. Everyone aged 18 and older may also now receive a booster dose five months after receiving their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

We also strongly recommend that people aged 12 years and over who are severely immunocompromised have a third primary dose of vaccine from two months after their second dose. Talk to your doctor for more advice. You can find your closest vaccination clinic at the Australian Government’s COVID19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.

Colleen Nicholls, Nurse Unit Manager Lismore Base Hospital Anaesthetics and Recovery, receives her COVID-19 booster from Nurse Immuniser Wendy Stapleton.

Vaccination

Opening hours for NNSWLHD Vaccination Clinics over Christmas COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Tweed, Lismore and Grafton will remain open into the New Year, closing on public holidays and Sundays. Open The clinics will return to normal opening hours from Tuesday 4 January.


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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Why have we abolished the requirement for digital check ins?
    Contact tracing will become near impossible as the virus explodes through our community.
    Masks no longer mandatory but required more than ever.
    I urge people to be smart and don’t let their gaurd down.
    The economy can’t recover with a sick workforce.
    Happy Xmas covid!

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NSW COVID update on COVID deaths – vax stats and comorbidities

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet again opened his COVID update with condolences to families who have lost loved ones, and thanks to the  ‘inspirational work of our health workers'.

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.

Reform needed to deliver electric trucks in Australia

With the aim of getting more electric-powered trucks on Australian roads, the Electric Vehicle Council and the Australian Trucking Association have collaborated to develop the policies necessary to drive Australian trucking into an electric future.

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.