Due to an epidemic of health alerts, thousands are being forced into isolation by soaring Covid cases in NSW. This could lead to the economic collapse and endanger Christmas for many millions.
Service NSW issued almost two million Covid alerts over the past week as it tried to limit the state’s growing case numbers.
Despite record vaccination rates, NSW Health has reimposed strict policies in response to the Omicron variant, with the entire guest list of several popular pubs being plunged into isolation after they were deemed transmission sites.
NSW Health has sent over 1.9 million messages to people advising them to monitor their symptoms and get tested.
Fears have been raised that many residents may spend Christmas alone due to the high number of close friends.
NSW Health has issued over 1.9 Million Covid Alerts during the last 2 weeks. This is due to an increase in virus case numbers (photo: QVB shoppers, Sydney).
NSW Health released an alert at The Argyle House Nightclub in Newcastle, (pictured late Sunday night), identifying all participants as close contacts following transmission of Covid on the night December 8.
NSW Health states that close contacts can be defined as those who have been within 15 minutes of positive cases in indoor environments without masks.
Experts have accused Omicron of being overreacting and forcing patrons to be quarantined due to Omicron exposures. However, there is no evidence that the Omicron strain causes higher death rates or hospitalisations.
Prof Peter Collignon, Infectious Diseases Expert, stated that Omicron spreads faster than Delta. However, the results aren’t worse than Delta.
“Some people even put 14 days quarantine on people from other countries. It should be treated the same way as Delta. It is important not to react too much.
Similar fears were expressed in the UK this year, where the term ‘pingdemic’ first became popular. More than 600,000 people received alerts urging them to self-isolate. It caused havoc for businesses and caused panic in other parts of the UK.
The situation brought the UK’s food supply network to a halt, resulting in the government ushering in new testing rules to address worker shortages.
On Monday, NSW saw 536 Covid cases. Hundreds of people close to them are still being isolated. A drive-thru Sydney clinic was occupied by healthcare workers on Tuesday, December 2.
Local concerns are growing about possible home isolation. Schools and families have taken preventative steps to reduce the chance of close contact.
As principals try to keep students from coming into contact with Covid in the weeks ahead, around half of Sydney’s Catholic schools permitted them to teach from their homes.
Numerous other families fear being locked in their homes as they prepare for Christmas, after the children at school were exposed.
Christine Rooke’s daughter will spend the first 20 days of her holidays in isolation after catching Covid at her eastern suburbs private school.
They are hopeful that they won’t contract the virus and will be able to return home after their initial isolation.
We could all be in the 19th if none of us are positive. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, if anyone of us tests positive right now, it will not be there.
Testing is underway to see if those who were infected (pictured) are carriers of the Omicron super-mutant variant.
‘It’s frustrating because we’ve been sold this story … that we are going to live with Covid and life is going to get back to normal, but that isn’t really the case.’
Further relaxed restrictions mean that unvaccinated NSW residents are now allowed into venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafeterias starting on Wednesday.
On top of post-lockdown freedoms, end-of-year celebrations have fuelled a surge in infections, with NSW recording 536 new Covid cases on Monday.
Numerous venues that hosted events since the state reopened were forced to close in the last week due to mass epidemics.
The virus has been confirmed in 84% of the guests that attended a prom Night’ at The Argyle House club in Newcastle.
Each of the 680 guests who attended the event were forced to stay in isolation for seven days. Testing is currently ongoing to confirm if they have contracted the Omicron strain.
It is believed that the cluster has been linked to five-night earlier, on Sydney Harbour, a party where at most five people contracted the virus.
NSW Health also issued an alert on Monday night that anyone who visited Finnegan’s Hotel in Newcastle, from 6.30pm Friday December 10 to 2.30am Saturday December 11 is a close contact and must immediately get tested and isolate for seven days.
All members of the household who are close to each other must be tested.
NSW Health is urgently contacting anyone who attended Finnegan’s Hotel at these times and checked in via the QR code and is directing them and members of their households to immediately get tested and follow public health advice.
After 46 cases of a trivia night in November 30, were connected to Sydney’s inner west, the Oxford Taven at Petersham was also deemed a transmission location.
Anybody who was present at the pub from 4.30pm to 10.30pm on that night was considered a close contact. They were required to be isolated for seven days.
Monday’s number is slightly less than Saturday’s 560, which was the highest daily total in NSW since October 9th, two days before lockdown lifted.
All the patrons that visited Petersham’s Oxford Tavern (pictured) were made to leave.
In the 24-hour period from Sunday 8pm, 74.997 test were performed.
The rate for double-dose vaccinations in 16-year olds is still at 93.1 %, and 94.8 % of first jabs have been given.
There are currently 171 inpatients with this virus. 24 are being treated in intensive care.
Newcastle was the first to report Omicron. This is a case in which a woman traveller recently returned from Britain and has been reported as Omicron.
The latest alert was issued hours after NSW recorded Australia’s first hospital admission of Omicron
On Sunday, 485 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the state. The number of Omicron infection cases rose to 55. Australia has at least 62 of these cases.
This nightclub cluster was born out of an outbreak that occurred on Sydney’s party cruise December 3, (pictured).
Officials at the hospital confirmed that one Omicron patient was admitted. This is the first Australian admission with this variant.
They are one of 156 Covid patients currently being treated in hospitals in NSW.
NSW Health has warned that Omicron cases could increase as genomic testing results are revealed.
After two days with more than 500 infections, the NSW Covid case numbers have dropped slightly.
There were two deaths, one in the 70’s and one in the 80’s. Both had not been vaccinated.