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HNELHD experiences major drop in COVID-19 cases

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The Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) experienced a major drop in COVID-19 cases overnight, with just 35 recorded.

It comes after consecutive days of 63 (Monday 18 October) and 73 (Sunday 17 October), as well as three deaths.

The total number in the current outbreak sits at 2,294, with 1,039 of those active.

Lake Macquarie LGA remains high, however, with 13 infections among Wyee, Charlestown, Speers Point, Croudace Bay, Dora Creek, Edgeworth, Gateshead, Warners Bay and Windale.

Five cases were detected in the Cessnock LGA (with four at Abermain), with another four in the Maitland LGA (Rutherford, Metford, Gillieston Heights).

Surprisingly, there were only four in the Newcastle LGA (Bar Beach, Mayfield, Merewether) and one in the Port Stephens LGA at Raymond Terrace.

Mid Coast and Tamworth Regional LGAs discovered six and two infections respectively.

Eighteen of the cases are linked, six were infectious in the community and six remain under investigation.

Overall, NSW registered 273 locally-acquired cases in the past 24 hours.

However, NSW Health reported the deaths of four people – three men and one woman.

Three were in their 60s, the other was in their 80s.

One person was from Sydney’s northern beaches, one was from south-west Sydney, one was from inner Sydney and one was from Wollongong.

Two of them were not vaccinated.

Now 92.1% of people 16 and older have had one dose of a vaccine while 80.8% of adults are fully-vaccinated.

“Ninety-two per cent is a great achievement, but let’s get higher,” NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

“I want to get 95% or even above.”

Dr Chant said despite the overall decline in cases, the virus continued to spread in the regions, particularly in the HNELHD.

However, she was pleased high testing rates were being maintained, with 90,597 tests in 24 hours, saying it’s vital to suppress the virus.

The declining numbers of COVID patients in hospital and in intensive care was also a relief for staff who have been working in a system under stress for months.

“But, it will not mean they have much of a breather – we also have business as usual,” Dr Chant said.

If you need to get tested for COVID-19 there are more than 410 clinics open across NSW.

For a complete list and booking details, visit: health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/clinics.aspx

For our latest COVID-19 news, click here.

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