NSW’s north coast is on heightened alert after a Covid-positive person flew from Sydney to Ballina before spending time in Byron and Tweed Heads.
The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of Covid-19 in Northern NSW, sparking new fears for the area.
The case travelled on Virgin Flight VA 1141 on September 18, leaving Sydney at 7.30am and arriving in Ballina at 8.45am. All passengers and crew are being contacted by NSW Health and will be required to get tested and self-isolate as instructed.
Acting Chief Executive Northern NSW Local Health District, Lynne Weir, says initial investigations indicate that this person has been infectious in the Byron, Ballina and Tweed areas between 18 and 20 September.
“The person is not a resident of the Northern NSW Local Health District but is isolating and receiving care in the area,” she said. “Further contact tracing is currently underway, and we will provide updated information as soon as it is available, including any exposure venues of public concern.’
As of 8pm on 19 September, there were no new confirmed cases among residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District.
Ms Weir said if you are directed to get tested for COVID-19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the rules given to you by health staff, whether or not the venue or exposure setting is listed on the NSW Health website.
Anyone with even the mildest of cold-like symptoms is urged to immediately come forward for testing and isolate until a negative result is received,” she said.
It came as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned Covid-19 cases will “go through the roof” once the state opens up next month after NSW recorded 935 new infections.
The Premier says the state’s health system will be “technically overwhelmed” next month.
“I should note that even if case numbers go down, we should expect unfortunately that the number of people in intensive care and the number of people who lose their lives to go up,” she said.
It is the first time new case numbers have dropped below 1000 since August 27.
Four more people died during the reporting period, bringing the total number of fatalities in NSW to 301 since the start of the pandemic.
Of today’s deaths two were southwestern Sydney men in their 60s and another was a Wollongong woman in her 80s.
The fourth was a Western Sydney man in his 80s and is the second death linked to an outbreak at Uniting Edinglassie Lodge Residential Age Care Facility in Penrith.
“We have to accept that once we start reopening cases will go through the roof but it won’t matter as much because people will be vaccinated,” the Premier said. “We will open first in the nation and live with Delta confidently and safely and look forward to resuming those activities we’ve missed for a long time … so long as we keep moving forward altogether.”
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