The Inverell shire has recorded two new COVID-19 cases overnight.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) is urging the community to get vaccinated and tested if they experience even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms, with a total of 224 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed to 8pm Monday night, December 13.
The majority of recent cases are expected to be the Omicron variant. This has been confirmed by genome sequencing for two cases to date.
NSW Health last night alerted the public to a new venue in Newcastle, Finnegan's Hotel, and also remains concerned about the escalation in COVID-19 transmission at the Argyle House nightclub in Newcastle.
Close to 150 of the 650 people who attended the Argyle House nightclub have tested positive to COVID-19, with more cases expected.
HNEH are aware that at least six people were present at the Finnegan's Hotel, and more cases are also expected to arise from exposures at this venue.
A breakdown of new COVID-19 cases by local government area is as follows:
Of the 425 total active cases in HNEH, five are receiving care in our hospitals and three are in ICU.
NSW Health continues to focus on contact tracing efforts to protect the community from high risk, super spreading events, by moving quickly to identify close contacts of cases.
It is important to ensure people who work in vulnerable settings such as aged care facilities and health care settings are identified if they have been exposed to COVID, to prevent them from inadvertently working while infectious.
Booster vaccinations now available from five months since second dose
Booster vaccinations are now available to those who received their second dose five months ago.
If you had your second dose in July or earlier, your protection against COVID-19 may be declining, so don't delay - now is the time to boost your immunity and stay safe this holiday season.
Community members can now walk-in to hubs across the district to receive their vaccinations. However, to ensure the fastest possible experience, bookings are encouraged and can be made via the Commonwealth Government's COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.
First and second doses are available for people aged 12 years and older. Those aged 18 years and older who received their second vaccination more than five months ago may receive their booster dose.
Children aged 15 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent/guardian aged 18 years and older.
Please remember not to attend your vaccination appointment if you are a contact or have even the mildest of symptoms.
Advice for the holiday season
HNEH is reminding everyone in the community of the importance of maintaining COVID-safe practices, with transmissions occurring at social events throughout the festive period.
With record numbers announced today in the Hunter, HNEH urge the local community to seriously consider deferring any social events in Newcastle until after Christmas in order to help keep family Christmas gatherings safe, and to help protect their loved ones, the vulnerable and our essential workers.
For full details of all testing clinics, including locations and opening hours, visit the NSW Health website.
HNEH is reminding people in our communities that even if they are fully vaccinated, they can still become infected and transmit the COVID-19 virus. If experiencing any symptoms, however mild, do not go to work or attend gatherings and instead, immediately get tested and self-isolate.
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