Western NSW Local Health District figures paint a sad picture for the region’s health, making people question whether the regional COVID-19 lockdown will end this weekend.
While the Cabonne Shire is not a local government area of concern, rising case numbers in Western NSW put pressure on Central West communities. Cases are now in Bourke, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Mudgee, Narromine and Walgett.
At the time of publication, there were no new cases in the Orange state electorate and two Orange cafes remain venues of concern after positive contact tracing.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has advised country residents to imagine there are people about town with the disease.
The three major causes of increasing case numbers are households, visiting oth-er households and busy workplaces, with the examples of manufacturing and factories given.
Member for Orange, Phil Donato said rising vaccination numbers along with restrictions of movement this week are positive signs. “COVID is on our doorstep and we must collectively all play our part to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe and COVID free,” he said.
“It is a stressful time for a lot of people at the moment and the social, economic and psychological effects of this virus and lock-down on people is not lost on me.”
Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee also encourages positivity.
“No region in the country has had to deal with as many natural disasters and challenges as we have. We’ve had drought, floods, bushfires, a mouse plague and now another round of COVID lockdowns. We’ll get on top of this latest challenge too,” Mr Gee said.
“Orange, Blayney and Cabonne showed during the last lockdown that if everyone does the right thing we can get out of them faster. So let’s stick together, look after each other and put this lockdown in the rear view mirror as soon as we can.”
Mr Gee acknowledged the snap lockdown announcement last Saturday was confusing and induced strestress. His message remained positive.
“We’ve been here before, we’ve come through, and we can do it again,” he said.
Stay At Home orders were imposed on all of regional NSW from 5pm on Saturday 14 August, and extend to 12.01am on Sunday 22 August.