EVEN though there have been active cases of covid identified in the Upper Hunter and Singleton Shires and even though there have been venues of contact in Muswellbrook and Singleton, the lockdowns in these areas have been lifted.
The recent local cases all tested early and isolated, preventing community transmission and allowing for lockdowns to be lifted.
David Layzell, Member for Upper Hunter said early testing for covid was actually the key to staying out of lockdown.
“In the recent local cases we have seen there was no community transmission and it’s the community transmission that really concerns Health,” explained Mr Layzell MP.
“It was because people did the right thing by getting tested at their first sign of symptoms and isolated immediately, that they stopped the virus from spreading and they are really good examples of why testing early works for everyone,” he said.
“Even with the venues of concern, there were only a few venues and they were very short visits, so the risk to the community was low and fortunately we saw that it didn’t result in transmission,” he said.
“Testing early is critical to staying out of lock down, so I’d encourage anyone with slight symptoms to get tested immediately, because it could make all the difference to the whole community, the longer people leave getting tested the more chance there is of transmission and the more likely we’ll have to go into lock down,” David Layzell said.
Another key consideration for lockdown are vaccination rates, explained David Layzell.
“Local vaccination rates do matter when Health is considering what freedoms and restrictions need to be in place,” said Mr Layzell.
“The higher our levels of local vaccination, the more confidence Health can have that the impact of covid cases will be minimised,” he said.
“Once the state reaches 70 percent vaccination, which looks set to happen in the next few weeks, people will be moving around more and our areas will come into contact with covid, but the higher our rate of vaccination, the less community transmission, the less cases we will see, the less hospital admissions we will see and the less restrictions we will need,” he said.
“If everyone can keep working to minimise the risks of covid and slow the spread, the better our whole community will be,” David Layzell said.