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Byron Shire
January 21, 2022

Byron Mayor speaks out about COVID testing

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From our first kiss to his last breath.
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Byron Council has issued a media release about the latest COVID stats and the lack of testing in the shire.

The release says that the latest information released by the Northern NSW Local Health District today (5 January) showed there were 576 new COVID cases to 8pm last night with 96 in the Byron Shire.

Vale Craig Ruddy

There are 26 people in hospital and 4 in intensive care and tragically, we have learned today that Craig Ruddy, well-known locally based artist and Archibald Prize winner, has died as a result of complications from COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his partner and family.

With the number of COVID cases in the Byron Shire and across the Northern Rivers steadily increasing, Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, has questioned the handling of testing by the NSW and Australian Governments.

Long queues at testing facilities in Byron

There have been long queues at testing facilities in Byron Bay for several weeks and in the absence of PCR tests there are also very few rapid antigen tests (RAT) available.

Mr Lyon said there is no doubt that from a planning perspective NSW has been found wanting in our preparation for the re-opening last month. ‘It’s a very stressful and emotional time for people who are not only frustrated by the lack of access to tests but they are concerned for their health and that of loved ones and friends.

‘Even if the RAT tests were available, they are expensive and beyond the reach of many people in our community.

‘Added to which the rules about testing and isolation are confusing and keep changing and this needs to be addressed quickly in terms of simplifying and clarifying the rules so that everyone is on the same page.

‘We all need to be able to get access to testing when required regardless of means or location.

Fortunate high vaccination rates

‘Fortunately, we have high vaccination rates in the Byron Shire and even higher across the region and we will get through this as individuals and as a community,’ said Mayor Lyon.

‘I encourage people who have been vaccinated to book in for their booster shot.

‘To all the people in our health system who have been working so hard – thank you.

Mr Lyon said COVID is a part of our lives and there is no changing that so we need to be prepared because it is likely to get worse before it gets better. ‘The very harsh reality is that some of us will lose loved ones so now, more than ever, it’s time to support each other, look out for each other and be kind to each other.’


 

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.

7

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.

10

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.

8

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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1 COMMENT

  1. I find Michael Lyon’s comments sorely lacking the leadership required right now. How about advocating for those not vaccinated to do so because NSW Health statistics are stark and, quite frankly, terrifying – 95% of those currently in hospital and ICU with Covid are either unvaccinated or only had one dose.

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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.