Local News

Upper Hunter MP calling on NSW Government to ease lockdown restrictions

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Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell is calling on the State Government to reconsider lockdown restrictions in various local government areas.

Mr Layzell wrote a letter to the New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro, asking for reviews to be made for the Dungog Shire Council, Muswellbrook Shire, Singleton Shire Council and Upper Hunter Shire Councils to see the stay-at-home orders ease by September 18th. 

The letter indicates the Shires meet the current criteria set out for regional communities for the lifting of restrictions including: 

  • The advice of health professionals in the Hunter New England Health who are familiar with regional areas
  • An assessment of risk to people due to its known interaction with areas of existing cases
  • The risk to the community from infection - 14 days COVID-Free
  • Sewage testing results are clear  where applicable 
  • The levels of vaccination within the community 

Mr Layzell explained in his letter how the criteria was applicable to each LGA.

Dungog Shire

"The only COVID case in the community was associated with the case in Muswellbrook. There was no exposure in Dungog and no venues of concern. It occurred on the 7th September. The COVID-positive sewage testing from yesterday is likely attributed to this case," he wrote. 

Muswellbrook Shire

"The infection in the community 3rd September was ar a mine construction site. Venues of concern have been identified, close contacts have isolated and no other transmission has been confirmed from this case," he wrote. 

Singleton Shire

"Infection in the community 4th September. Venues of concern have been identified, close contacts isolated and no other transmissions in the community from this case," he wrote. 

Upper Hunter Shire

"The last infection in the community was 4th September and it was low risk, and controlled. No other infections or close calls have occurred."

Mr Layzell told Hunter Valley News there is a good chance the Upper Hunter could see this restrictions lifted. 

"I believe at the end of this week, we have a pretty strong case to say we've had 14 days COVID-Free, which is one of the key things that the health authorities are looking at. 

"I believe that our surrounding communities got their outbreaks under control and they're stabilizing. That risk is reducing. 

"I think we're now ready to come out of lockdown and we want to make sure when we do come out of lockdown, we don't want to go back in," Mr Layzell said. 

 A copy of the letter can be viewed below:

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Image Credit: Tumisu / Pixabay and Dave Layzell