TESTING is now a priority ahead of the holidays as a COVID outbreak in Newcastle explodes and spreads to the regions with Taree, Tamworth, Moree and Inverell all recording new cases in the Hunter New England Health District (HNEHD) today (Wednesday).
A total of 424 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed to 8pm Tuesday night, December 14 in the HNEHD.
At least 243 cases are from the Newcastle local government area, after a positive case attended a local nightclub, The Argyle House, last Wednesday night.
There are 827 active cases in the District. Seven active cases are being cared for in hospitals, and three are in ICU.
"It is likely that the overwhelming majority of the cases in Newcastle will be the Omicron variant of concern," it said.
In the Mid North Coast Local Health District from Port Macquarie north to Coffs Harbour, there were eight new cases of COVID-19 reported overnight.
Five cases are from the Nambucca Valley Local Government Area (LGA) and there is one case each from the Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Coffs Harbour LGAs.
Five of the cases are household contacts of a confirmed case, two are linked to a known case or cluster and the source of the infection of one case is under investigation.
Two people are being treated in hospital.
Macksville High School is the latest school to be shut down after a member of the school community tested positive. It follows Kempsey West Public School and Hastings Secondary College's Westport campus in Port Macquarie.
An aged care worker has also tested positive in a Port Macquarie aged care facility.
ABC reported today (December 15) a staff member at residential aged care facility St Agnes' House tested positive on Sunday.
St Agnes' CEO Adam Spencer told ABC Mid North Coast that everything possible is being done to contain the situation.
Residents are isolating in their rooms and have limited contact with staff while testing is underway.
Mr Spencer said at this stage, no-one else has presented as being unwell and they will continue to work closely with NSW Health to manage the situation.
There have been 596 cases reported in the District since the beginning of the current NSW outbreak.
Public health officials urge anyone who has even the mildest of symptoms to get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
High demand for testing
There continues to be high demand for COVID-19 testing at our clinics across the Mid North Coast.
Healthcare workers and support staff are working exceptionally hard to test everyone, including people with symptoms and those requiring testing for interstate travel.
Drive-through testing clinic opening hours are:
- Coffs Harbour: Stadium Drive, 8am to 4.30pm
- Kempsey: Corner of Verge and Sydney streets, 8am to 4pm
- Macksville: Dudley Street, 9am to 4pm (extended hours)
- Port Macquarie: Boundary Street, 8am to 4pm
- South West Rocks: Steve Eagleton Drive, 9am to 3.30pm (closed 12.30pm - 1.30pm) Tuesday and Thursday
- Woolgoolga: CWA Rooms, Beach Street, 9.30am to 1.30pm (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)
People are urged to get vaccinated to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 and keep coming forward for testing if you experience any symptoms.
For COVID-19 updates, including testing and vaccination clinic details and information about self-isolation, visit www.nsw.gov.au
Booster shots roll out
You can now receive a booster vaccination five months after your second dose, with both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available.
If you had your second dose in July or earlier you are eligible for a booster.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: