KEMPSEY has been thrown back into a snap lockdown from 5pm today (Tuesday) after two people tested positive for COVID-19 at the weekend.
There were three cases identified in the Mid North Coast region on Saturday (September 18). They remain in isolation and under the care of NSW Health staff.
The two Kempsey cases did not acquire the virus in Kempsey and are not related to previous local cases.
The one Coffs Harbour case also acquired their infection elsewhere.
There were no new cases reported in the Mid North Coast Local Health District to 8pm last night (Monday, September 20).
The Kempsey local government area (LGA) will return to strict stay-at-home orders from 5pm September 21 for seven days, after which the situation will be reviewed.
Kempsey joins regions further north to return to strict lockdown rules including the Tweed, Byron Bay and Lismore.
These stay-at-home orders also apply to anyone who has been in these affected LGAs since the following dates:
- Kempsey LGA - 14 September
- Byron LGA - 18 September
- Tweed LGA - 18 September
Everyone in the affected LGAs must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason, which includes:
- shopping for food
- medical care
- getting vaccinated
- compassionate needs
- work or tertiary education if you can't work or study at home
People who are fully vaccinated can attend an outdoor gathering of up to five people for exercise or outdoor recreation, as long as all of those aged 16 or older are fully vaccinated.
To determine the extent of the risk and detect any further potential COVID-19 cases in these areas, the Mid North Coast Local Health District is calling on the communities to come forward for testing in large numbers.
"A strong response to testing will be a key factor in determining if these stay-at-home orders are extended beyond one week," MNCLHD chief executive Stewart Dowrick said.
"High vaccination rates are also essential to reduce the risk of transmission and protect the health and safety of the community."
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey urged the Kempsey community to hunker down, get tested and get vaccinated. Vaccination, she said, is the key.
"I continue to urge all residents to get vaccinated," Ms Pavey said.
"Vaccines are the path out of these lockdowns - and the sooner we reach those higher double dose vaccination rates, the better off lives and livelihoods will be."
The latest vaccination statistics have revealed where the Mid North Coast region is placed against the state trend.
In NSW, vaccinations for first dose are at 82.5 per cent and second dose 53 per cent.
On the Mid North Coast, first and second dose vaccination rates are as follows:
- Bellingen Shire 76.9%, second dose 49.1%
- Nambucca Shire 75.2%, second dose 46.7%
- Kempsey Shire 74.8%, second dose 40.2%
- Port Macquarie-Hastings 82.7%, second dose 52.6%
Pfizer vaccines through the GP network have increased and Pfizer is now available for those over 12 years.
Moderna shipments have arrived and will be administered through community pharmacies. They will be available for people over 12. You can go online and book, visit, or call your participating pharmacy.
COVID-19 vaccination is available through NSW Health clinics, GPs, pharmacies and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS).
Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find the nearest vaccination clinic, or visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccination-nsw/get-your-covid-19-vaccination-nsw
A list of regional and rural NSW Health vaccination clinics is available on the NSW government website www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccination-nsw/vaccination-clinics-regional-and-rural