WILL the Mid North Coast emerge from lockdown at the end of the week?
At a press briefing last week (August 19), Deputy Premier John Barilaro said he felt confident the lockdown in regional NSW would be lifted as scheduled.
The extended regional NSW lockdown is due to run to August 28.
"I'll say this very clearly - next Saturday our intention is to lift the restrictions in regional and rural NSW," he told regional journalists at the COVID update.
"That's almost a blunt commitment.
"And we'll do that on the things I spoke about - are there any active cases in that LGA? Are there fragments in the sewage? Are you adjoining another LGA that has high case numbers?
"If you tick any of those boxes you won't be coming out but we will be looking at an LGA-approach.
"And I'm confident as of next Saturday, or the following Monday, children will be resuming school in regional rural NSW as normal."
Locally, that criteria could lead to a mixed bag - some areas coming out of lockdown, and others continuing under stay-at-home orders.
Kempsey Shire has two active cases - so may face a further lockdown extension.
Port Macquarie-Hastings has had virus detections in its sewage - so again, may face continuing restrictions.
Mr Barilaro acknowledged there was frustration in regions without active cases.
"I know there's frustration. I know there are people frustrated saying 'we have no cases here'," he said.
"I wish no cases on any part of the regions. But in part it's because of these lockdowns that you have no cases."
Meanwhile, a close watch remains on the Mid North Coast which has again kept COVID case numbers at just two overnight.
Two positive cases remain in isolation in South Kempsey. There are four exposure sites named as venues of concern.
A Mid North Coast Local Health District spokesperson said this morning that health staff are providing ongoing care for the two local cases. One of those is a 14-year-old girl.
To date, their household contacts have returned negative test results.
Anyone who attended Bunnings or Little Shack in Port Macquarie; Coles in Belgrave St, Kempsey, or the BP Nambucca Heads at the dates and times listed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
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