15 September 2021

Four more COVID-19 cases in southern NSW

| Kim Treasure
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Cars wait in queue

Cars queue for COVID testing at Yass’s Walker Park on Tuesday 14 September. Photo: Supplied.

UPDATED: Please note an earlier version of this story listed a Queanbeyan exposure site on 5 September. The correct dates and times are: Woolworths, Queanbeyan, between 6:40 am and 6.55 am on 9 September, and 6:15 am to 7:10 am on 10 September.

The Southern NSW Local Health District has recorded four new COVID-19 cases overnight, two in Queanbeyan, one in Yass and one in Batemans Bay.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the new case in Batemans Bay was a close contact of the previous three recorded last week.

“At this stage, there are no exposure sites in Batemans Bay, and NSW Health will update as they receive more information,” he said. “It’s important to tell people about the cases so they are vigilant, and the second part is to put out new exposure sites as we learn them.

“As much as we love getting prompt information out there, the last thing we want is wrong information.”

Yass residents turned out in droves for testing today after being forced into a snap lockdown overnight.

People started lining up at the Yass testing station, at Walker Park, from 6:30 am. With queues already starting to form, the staff on duty started testing earlier than the advertised 8 am. By 11 am, the queue of cars stretched along adjacent Merriman Drive for more than a kilometre.

People were mostly patient, despite some waiting up to four hours to be seen. New locations sites released by health authorities today were:

  • Aldi Yass, 11 September, 6 am to 9 am; 10 September, 7 am to 10 am; 9 September, 7 am to 2:30 pm;
  • Caltex Yass Valley Way, 10 September, 8:30 am to 8:35 am;
  • Domino’s Pizza Yass, 11 September, 1:10 pm to 1:20 pm;
  • Mobil Yass, 10 September, 6:15 am to 6:20 am;
  • Woolworths Yass, 12 September, 8:30 am to 9:30 am; 9 September, 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm.

READ MORE Snap lockdown for Yass shire after COVID case confirmed

The only new public exposure site in Queanbeyan was Woolworths between 6:40 am and 6.55 am on 9 September, and 6:15 am to 7:10 am on 10 September.

There were a number of new potential exposure sites in Goulburn. They were:

  • Akira Sushi, Goulburn Square Food Court, 9 September, 10:00 am to 10:30 am;
  • Aldi Goulburn, 7 September, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm;
  • Free Choice Tobacconist, 9 September, 10 am to 10:30 am;
  • Goulburn Marketplace, 8 September, 4:45 pm to 5:30 pm;
  • The Masala Mill, 7 September, 5:25 pm to 6:00 pm;
  • Woolworths, 9 September, 4:45 pm to 5:30 pm.

In Young, testing has once again detected fragments of the COVID-19 virus in the sewage system.

The latest sample was collected in Young on 12 September and follows a positive detection in a previous sample collected on 7 September 2021. Follow up testing for Harden from 12 September has returned a negative result.

There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area but the presence of these fragments could signal undetected cases in the community.

Meanwhile, Mr Barilaro will meet with regional mayors and community leaders this week following calls by Local Government NSW (LGNSW) to take a joint approach in the state’s COVID fightback.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said this Friday’s (17 September) meeting had been organised to discuss how best to boost regional vaccination rollouts, testing facilities, sewer testing and pathways out of lockdown.

“I thank the Deputy Premier for accepting our invitation to a meet with regional and rural mayors and general managers,” Scott said.

“It’s an important demonstration of the need to work collaboratively with all tiers of government, in the best interest of our communities.

“Regional leaders want the same thing as the State Government: to keep our communities safe and to drive a locally-led recovery from the economic crisis created by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns.”

The Deputy Premier is expected to be joined by Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) Secretary Gary Barnes and DRNSW Deputy Secretary Fiona Dewar at the meeting.

READ ALSO More COVID-19 cases at Queanbeyan, virus fragments in Eden

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also promised this week to meet with mayors in the hardest hit COVID-impacted communities.

Scott welcomed the Premier’s change of heart, which follows an initial rejection of calls to meet with the peak body and the mayors of 12 local government areas (LGAs) of concern in western and south western Sydney.

“Many of these mayors tell us they have been ignored by the State Government, despite their work on the frontlines to support their communities through the COVID crisis.

“Following our advocacy efforts, the Premier reached out to organise a series of meetings to discuss the most effective ways to jointly support the two million-plus residents these mayors represent.”

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty announced 1127 cases had been detected across the state in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with eight overseas positive cases.

While the dip in numbers appears good news on face value, it may be a result of good weather over the weekend leading to lower testing numbers. Dr McAnulty said it was too early to say the peak had passed.

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