NSW COVID circumstances are on the rise, Port Macquarie, Muswellbrook Lockdown begins, Victoria COVID circumstances are on the rise, Qld COVID circumstances are on the rise, ACT COVID circumstances are rising

Residents living in the regional NSW areas of Port Macquarie on the central north coast and Muswellbrook on upper Hunter will initiate a week-long lockdown starting at 6 p.m. tonight.

A lockdown in Kempsey, also on NSW’s central north coast, will be lifted at midnight.

The home-stay orders were put in place in the two local government areas north of Sydney for seven days “due to an increased public health risk for COVID-19,” NSW Health said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“These arrangements for staying at home also apply to everyone who has been away from home since the age of 17.

Port Macquarie will be closed for a week to contain the spread of the virus.Credit:Matthew Gilligan

“Everyone in these LGAs must stay at home unless there is a vital reason, including grocery shopping, medical care, vaccination, compassionate needs, exercise and work, or college, when they cannot work or study from home.”

NSW Health urged residents of both communities to sign up for large numbers of tests to help authorities determine the extent of the risk and identify more potential COVID-19 cases in these areas.

“A strong response to testing will be a key factor in determining whether these home stay orders will be extended beyond a week. To find a clinic near you, visit COVID-19 clinics or contact your GP.

NSW Health Secretary Brad Hazzard this morning alerted the Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook regional areas of a possible lockdown and indicated a possible extension of the current lockdown in Kempsey.

However, NSW Health said this afternoon that the Kempsey home stay order would be canceled as scheduled at 11:59 p.m. tonight.

“This order can be reintroduced if new information indicates an increased risk to public health,” said the health department.

Kempsey residents are urged to remain vigilant and get tested at the first sign of COVID-19 symptoms.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District listed more than 20 places of concern for close or casual contact in Port Macquarie when it confirmed two new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Both were close contacts from a case that visited the region last week.

A new COVID-19 case was announced in the Muswellbrook parish on Tuesday, in addition to a case reported on Monday, local Health District Hunter New England said.

The lockdowns in Byron Bay and Tweed Shires, north NSW, will end at midnight Tuesday.

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