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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Council calls on government to keep Cessnock COVID-safe

In the wake of the recent lockdown at Orange, Cessnock City Council is calling on the NSW Government to tighten restrictions to ensure the safety of the local community from the spread of COVID-19.

People in the central-western town, and its surrounds, were directed to follow stay-at-home directives after a coronavirus positive delivery driver from Sydney visited the area – and infected another person.

The lockdown in the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne LGAs (Local Government Areas) marked the first time the order had been imposed in regional NSW.

Residents can only leave to shop for essential items, medical care or compassionate needs, exercise in groups of no more than two, and for work or tertiary studies that can’t be done from home.

Cessnock City mayor Bob Pynsent said councillors shared their community’s fears.

“The possibility and risks of people entering our region from Greater Sydney is a cause of concern for many of us,” he explained.

“The risk to the regions is real and the people of Orange are feeling that fist-hand.

“We’ve managed to avoid the Delta variant making its way into our community and we want to keep it that way.”

Council wants to see an increased police presence in the Hunter region to deter people from breaking the Public Health Order and ensure those doing the wrong thing are caught.

Additionally, Cessnock City is urging the NSW Government to clarify testing requirements for those travelling from Greater Sydney for work into the area.

“Those leaving Greater Sydney require a test but there remains confusion around whether they require a negative result before departing Greater Sydney,” Cr Pynsent said.

“We’re asking the Public Health Order be updated to require people to receive a negative test result before leaving Greater Sydney.”

For more information on the restrictions, visit the NSW Health website.

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