18 September 2021

COVID cases continue to grow, Hilltops now in lockdown

| Kim Treasure
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Batemans Bay COVID clinic.

Batemans Bay COVID clinic. Photo: Kim Treasure.

COVID-19 numbers in the Capital region are continuing to increase, with eight new cases in southern NSW and the Hilltops local government area thrown back into lockdown.

The Batemans Bay cluster has spread to Narooma, with one new case recorded there and four new linked cases in the town itself.

There are two new cases in Jerrabomberra – both are close contacts of existing cases. A new case in Goulburn is still under investigation.

This brings the total cases in SNSWLHD to 62 since the start of the current outbreak in June.

Health authorities are also urging the Eden community to get tested with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms following the detection of fragments of the virus in the local sewage system in the past 48 hours.

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

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The sample was taken on 15 September and is the second detection at the Eden sewage treatment plant.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said undetected COVID-19 cases within the Bega Valley Shire remained a strong possibility.

“As more fragments are found across the shire, the possibility of there being unknown local cases increases,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“If you live in Eden or the surrounding areas, or in fact anywhere in the shire, and you have the slightest hint of cold-like symptoms, you need to get tested. This is your responsibility to safeguard our community.

“This means if you are experiencing symptoms such as headache, nausea, sore throat, runny nose, cough, loss of smell or taste, or fever, you must get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.”

The Eden sewage treatment plant serves about 3000 people.

Council is sending samples from the sewage treatment plants in Eden, Bermagui, Merimbula and Bega, twice weekly to NSW Health for testing.

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COVID-19 cases and venues of concern are published on the Southern NSW Local Health District website.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) chief executive Jill Ludford said the initial case in Young, a man in his 60s, presented at the local hospital and had been transferred to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital in a stable condition.

Three of his household contacts have since been confirmed to have COVID-19.

Ms Ludford said investigations were underway to try to determine where he caught the virus from.

“Contact tracers are working very hard to try to identify anywhere that person has been to so that we can get that list of venues that we will provide to you shortly,” she said.

“The person is unwell but has been very helpful in assisting us with identifying where they’ve been.”

The local government area went into a seven-day lockdown from 6:00 pm on 17 September.

Young venues of concern are available here.

Original Article published by Kim Treasure on About Regional.

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