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Byron Shire
April 24, 2024

167 active COVID-19 cases in Northern Rivers

Latest News

New data reveals NSW social housing waitlist blowout

A fresh analysis by Homelessness NSW reveals where people are waiting the longest for social housing, sparking calls to double the supply of social homes and boost services funding.

Other News

Wallum urban development back in court

The company behind the Wallum housing development in Brunswick Heads is once again taking Byron Council to court, this time for allegedly holding up its planned earthworks at the site in an unlawful manner.

Man dies in hospital following an E-bike crash – Byron Bay

A man has died in hospital following an E bike crash in Byron Bay earlier this month.

Big names at local chess tournament

A major Northern Rivers chess tournament was held at the Byron Bay Services Club in late April. ‘It was well-attended,...

New data reveals NSW social housing waitlist blowout

A fresh analysis by Homelessness NSW reveals where people are waiting the longest for social housing, sparking calls to double the supply of social homes and boost services funding.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Couching an Opinion

The Bruce Lehrmann and Brittany Higgins case was never about establishing whether or not Lehrmann raped Higgins. It was about Brittany. She was established as not ‘the perfect victim’ so we overlooked the blazingly obvious fact that Bruce Lehrmann was ‘the perfect perpetrator’. An entitled, compulsive wrecking ball of cocaine, $400 steaks, free rent and very very expensive massages.

Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

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.


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


Public transport mask mandate to end

Masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport from tomorrow, Wednesday 21 September.


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.


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.


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.


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.


It’s National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia says volleys are the backbone of the country in times of crisis and emergency.


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 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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Domestic violence service calls for urgent action to address crisis

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Menacing dog declaration revoked

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