Tamworth to enter lockdown, Byron Bay on high alert

Tamworth to enter lockdown, Byron Bay on high alert

Within a week there have been three new lockdowns announced in parts of regional NSW: Newcastle, Armidale, and now Tamworth (pictured). NSW Health officials are re-interviewing a man in Byron Bay to ascertain exposure sites in the Northern Rivers region. Photo: Visit NSW

New alerts are popping up all over regional NSW.

After Armidale entered a snap seven-day lockdown on Saturday, the same will happen in Tamworth from 5pm today after a woman from Newcastle who was exposed to COVID-19 visited numerous locations in the Northern Tablelands city.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the Northern Rivers community is on high alert following a new positive case in Byron Bay - a man in his 50s who travelled from Sydney in late July, who is currently being interviewed as health authorities establish exposure sites and determine the next course of action.

In the 24 hours to 8pm last night there were 283 new cases of COVID-19 in NSW and one death. Only 106 of the new cases were in isolation for the entirety of their infectious period.

"The epicentre of the virus in NSW and Sydney still remains the Canterbury Bankstown local government area (LGA)," Premier Berejiklian said.

But new clusters have the potential to take hold in other parts of the state. The Hunter and Upper Hunter regions have been in a one-week lockdown that began last Thursday, and from there it is possible the virus may have spread to almost 400km away in Tamworth.

"Unfortunately, somebody from Newcastle went to Tamworth and there's a number of exposure sites in Tamworth," the Premier said.

"There aren't any cases there yet, but we do know the person went from Newcastle to Tamworth and visited a number of locations, so as a precaution the health experts have recommended that we lock down Tamworth for one week starting from five o'clock today.

"I understand there's already been discussions with community leaders and people on the ground in that area."

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the woman who visited those exposure sites travelled from Newcastle on 4 August and arrived in Tamworth on 5 August.

"I'll just disclose that a young lady was exposed to COVID in Newcastle," Dr Chant said.

Anyone who attended the following venues in Tamworth and Newcastle at the indicated times is considered a close contact, and must get tested and isolate for 14 days:

  • Inland Cafe Tamworth - 9:15-10am, 5 August
  • The Tudor Hotel Tamworth - 11-11:40am, 5 August
  • Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant, Tamworth - 31 July - 5 August
  • Mr Rice Takeaway, Cooks Hill, Newcastle - 3-3:20pm, 4 August

If anyone attended the following venues on the specific dates and times, they are considered casual contacts and must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result:

  • Gloria Jeans, Tamworth - 9:15-9:20am, 5 August
  • The Super Vape Store, Tamworth - 10:55-11:05, 5 August
  • Ampol Roadhouse, Tamworth - 12:25-12:30pm, 5 August

"She then returned to Newcastle on the 5th of August, and hence why there is no additional exposure being is from that time," Dr Chant said.

She said testing was also underway to determine the source of the infection for the latest case in Byron Bay.

"He is currently being re-interviewed and we are also arranging urgent testing of his two household contacts, and once we have more information we'll be alerting to the community in terms of any venues that he's checked into. At the moment we don't have any venues that he's checked in using his QR codes at this time," Dr Chant said.

11:38am AEST on 9 August 2021.

 

 

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