NSW Health has confirmed a second positive COVID case in Kempsey Shire - while mayor Liz Campbell has called for social media trolls to back off from playing the blame game.
The case is a friend of the first positive case that was confirmed earlier this week. NSW Health and police are working with the girl to determine her movements.
"The second case is related to the first case in Kempsey, they're not relatives at all, just a casual visit," Mid North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick said.
"The family involved and young person involved have been fully cooperative with officials and NSW Health. They're self-isolating now."
The health district has been notified of two local venues of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19:
- Little Shack cafe, 1 Munster St (on the Town Green) - Saturday, August 14, 2pm to 3.30pm
- Bunnings Warehouse, 18 John Oxley Dr, Port Macquarie - Saturday, August 14, 3.45pm to 4.05pm
Anyone who attended these venues at the times detailed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received. People should continue to monitor for symptoms and immediately isolate and get tested if they develop.
All close contacts have been contacted and informed as part of normal contact tracing. They must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
Kempsey mayor Liz Campbell shared the sympathy of the councillors and staff of council to those infected and their loved ones and urged the community to do the right thing.
"The stay-at-home order has been extended for our shire, along with the rest of regional NSW, until at least the end of next week. Please stay at home if you can," Cr Campbell said.
"Please get tested if you are at all concerned and please register for a vaccination if you haven't already.
"I've also seen some nasty things and made-up stories being said on social media about the young girl who was diagnosed this week.
"All I can say is please let's be our best selves while we are all under the stress of this situation. Blame and innuendo are beneath us all.
"We are a strong community, especially when faced with adversity, because we stick together and have each other's backs."
Meanwhile, a raft of new measures in Sydney announced today include a 9pm-5am curfew; only one hour of exercise per day in identified LGAs; and closure of some further retail business (like hardware, garden centres and office supplies) unless 'click and collect' is available.
"Now it's time to bunker down and take this as seriously as we can," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. "This is it."
About 132,000 tests were taken in the community yesterday.
About 5.6 million jabs have been given in NSW, 54 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.
"These are great milestones that we are hitting and we cannot say enough how important it is for people to come forward and get vaccinated," the Premier said.
The State's chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed there were 642 cases overnight with 127,500 tests conducted. Four more people died.
There were 800 infringements issued by NSW Police overnight, with 50 charged with breaching Public Health Orders.
There are now testing stations available at Riverside Park in Kempsey and in South West Rocks, and I strongly encourage anyone with even the mildest of symptoms to get tested- Craig Milburn
The Macleay Valley's health and well-being is being served by a united effort by local agencies. The coronavirus spread and lockdown is talked about on the news and in official statements in terms of Local Government Areas but is being handled primarily by the State Government.
Kempsey council general manager Craig Milburn said the authority was working closely with NSW Police and the Mid North Coast Health District to ensure a comprehensive and effective response.
"Robert Fish, our director of Operations and Planning, is also the Local Emergency Management officer and in that role he is meeting with police and health every day as part of the Local Emergency Management committee," Mr Milburn said.
"This dialogue keeps us up to date and enables us to see what assistance council can offer and how we can all work together to manage this incident. The new drive-through testing clinic is an example where the site is organised by NSW Health, but other agencies including NSW Police and ourselves have assisted where we can."
Kempsey Shire Council's key services are unaffected despite the announcement of these COVID-19 cases.
"There are now testing stations available at Riverside Park in Kempsey and in South West Rocks, and I strongly encourage anyone with even the mildest of symptoms to get tested," Mr Milburn said.
In addition, Mid North Coast Local Health District will open a pop-up walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Kempsey Community Health Centre at the hospital tomorrow. The clinic will be open from 10am to 3.45pm and will offer AstraZeneca vaccine only.
People need to bring their Medicare card and photo ID and will be vaccinated on a first-come first-in basis.
"We had record numbers (tested) in Kempsey yesterday and had 214 people attend the day before... they are our largest numbers since we started testing in Kempsey from March last year," Mr Dowrick said.
On essential council services, Mr Milburn said: "Everyone's rubbish will be collected as normal, the waste facility remains open, and our parks and ovals are for the most part still open for exercise."
For information on specific council services impacted, visit council's website at kempsey.nsw.gov.au, call the Customer Service team on 6566-3200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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