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New South Wales records 262 Covid-19 cases and five deaths from virus

Another five deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in New South Wales as Newcastle and Hunter region are thrown into lockdown after a pandemic-record 262 cases of the virus overnight. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said four of the five NSW residents to die from the virus in the past 24 hours were not vaccinated. The fifth had received only one dose of the AstraZeneca jab.

NSW Health said 45 of the newly-acquired cases were infectious in the community. 

Ms Berejiklian said the Newcastle and Hunter region – more than 100km north of Sydney – would enter a one-week lockdown from 5pm on Thursday after five school students tested positive to Covid-19 in regional NSW.

The local government areas that will go into lockdown are Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook. 

Residents in those LGAs will face the same strict stay-at-home orders as five million residents across Greater Sydney, who are in lockdown until at least August 28. 

A pedestrian walks along Coogee Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Thursday morning. Another five deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in New South Wales overnight

Ms Berejiklian meanwhile revealed she had secured another 180,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from the federal government as she scrambles to vaccinate 20,000 Year 12 students a week before they return to school on August 16.

‘It means that in the week of 16 August, we can redirect doses we have taken from the regions for HSC students,’ she said.

‘It also means we can focus on those eight local government areas in Greater Sydney of concern in particular.’

Two of the students who tested positive in regional NSW attended Lake Munmorah Public School on the Central Coast and their older sibling goes to Morisset High School near Lake Macquarie. 

There are also two positive cases at Maitland Christian School in the Hunter Valley, with parents and teachers being informed via email on Thursday morning.

All three schools were shut down for deep cleaning on Wednesday after the positive tests and hundreds of students and stuff sent into isolation. 

A Target employee working at Stockland Glendale shopping centre has also tested positive, with the building the latest high-risk exposure site. 

Lake Macquarie, the Hunter and the Central Coast have had next to no Covid cases but the Central Coast is in lockdown along with Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra.   

Pictured: Morisset High School in Lake Macquarie. A case at the school is one of five new cases found among students across regional NSW

Pictured: Morisset High School in Lake Macquarie. A case at the school is one of five new cases found among students across regional NSW

Crowds enjoy their essential exercise on Thursday morning as Sydney endures its sixth week of a had stay-at-home lockdown

Crowds enjoy their essential exercise on Thursday morning as Sydney endures its sixth week of a had stay-at-home lockdown

Thousands of local residents were informed last week their vaccine appointments were being rescheduled so the jabs could be sent to Sydney for Year 12 students.

A concerned parent of Lake Munmorah Public told Daily Mail Australia they were in the dark about the news and were not told dates and times of the exposure.

‘We have not been contacted individually by the school or NSW health. We got a general notification last night,’ she said.

‘I’m still waiting to hear what days/ classes as I have worked, attended medical appointments and shopped in the past few days so wish I knew more so I could warn colleagues and doctors.

Two students at Lake Munmorah Public School tested returned positive coronavirus results overnight, sending two schools and hundreds of staff and kids into isolation

Two students at Lake Munmorah Public School tested returned positive coronavirus results overnight, sending two schools and hundreds of staff and kids into isolation

There are also two positive cases at Maitland Christian School in the Hunter Valley, with parents and teachers being informed via email on Thursday morning

There are also two positive cases at Maitland Christian School in the Hunter Valley, with parents and teachers being informed via email on Thursday morning

‘My partner has taken my son for a test this morning, because I feel lost just waiting around for updates. 

‘The school is only open to essential workers so it shouldn’t be that hard to let everyone know if the child is a close contact or casual contact.’

There is a huge queue forming at Warners Bay drive-thru clinic as students, parents and staff rush to seek tests.

The clinic is now at full capacity and is opening intermittently as a huge stretch of cars wait to be tested. 

There are now mass testing events being conducted at drive-thru clinics across the region including Maitland Hospital, University of Newcastle and John Hunter Hospital. 

Last week thousands of residents on the Central Coast and Hunter regions were informed their appointments would be rescheduled as the delivery of Pfizer vaccines were re-routed to Sydney.

Locals were upset to find out the jabs were being sent to west and south-west Sydney to grapple with the latest outbreak, while also given to Year 12 students in an attempt to save the school year. 

NSW Health have attended Lake Munmorah Public and a deep cleaning is underway after two children tested positive for Covid overnight on Wednesday

NSW Health have attended Lake Munmorah Public and a deep cleaning is underway after two children tested positive for Covid overnight on Wednesday

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed there were fragments of Covid discovered in nearby sewer systems in Newcastle

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed there were fragments of Covid discovered in nearby sewer systems in Newcastle

The NSW government diverted 40,000 jabs from regional areas to vaccinate the students in Sydney hotspots.

Ms Berejiklian defended the decision on Sunday, where she argued it would not pose a risk to regional areas and vaccination was an important a tool in their battle against the highly infectious Delta strain within red zones in Sydney’s west and south-west.  

‘When you consider there are eight million people in NSW, and we have been able to stop the spread of the virus in our regions and other parts of Sydney,’ she said.

‘It is important for us to give those Year 12 students a chance to finish their exams and get rewarded.

‘We know that we are finding younger people are getting the virus and spreading it. It is important particularly for younger people, people up to the 30s in particular, to get access to the vaccine as soon as possible.’

 Ms Berejiklian still wants six million jabs in arms by the end of August, despite rediverting doses from rural areas.  

Local member for Wyong David Harris said his wife, who is a teacher at Lake Munmorah Public, was booked in for the Pfizer jab last week, only to be told her vaccine was going to Sydney Year 12 students. 

The news comes after fragments of Covid were discovered in three Newcastle sewer systems. 

NSW Health issued a message to regional residents last Friday (pictured) to advise their Pfizer appointments had been cancelled

NSW Health issued a message to regional residents last Friday (pictured) to advise their Pfizer appointments had been cancelled 

NSW Health confirmed Wednesday the sewer systems in Shortland, Burwood Beach and Belmont had all discovered fragments of Covid, plants that service 400,000 residents. 

‘There were very high rates of virus detected in the sewage in the Hunter, Newcastle area,’ NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. 

‘High viral load [was detected], which suggests there could be undetected cases up around the Newcastle area. So, we’re really keen to have people come forward and get tested.’ 

Birmingham Gardens, Maryland, Shortland, Cameron Park, Fletcher, Minmi, Mayfield, Stockton and Fern Bay have all been listed as areas of concern. 

Lake Munmorah Public lies on Carters Road, a street that has three other schools on it within close promixity – Lake Munmorah High, St Brigid’s Catholic College and St Brendan’s Lake Munmorah.

There are growing fears the positive students could trigger a super-spreader event through the four schools and into surrounding regional areas. 

‘The NSW Department of Education has been advised by NSW Health that two students at our school have tested positive for Covid-19,’ Principal Narelle Baldwin said in a statement.

‘Our school will be non-operational effective immediately for the on-site attendance of staff and visitors to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning.

‘All staff and students are asked to self-isolate until you receive further advice. 

‘The NSW Department of Education will continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff is maintained. 

‘While we recognise this will be disruptive and inconvenient for families, it is important that we follow NSW Health advice and take all necessary precautions to minimise the risk of further transmission to support our community.’ 

Parents and staff at Maitland Christian were contacted via email on Thursday morning, confirming the two positive cases and asking people to immediately pick up their kids

Parents and staff at Maitland Christian were contacted via email on Thursday morning, confirming the two positive cases and asking people to immediately pick up their kids

Parents and staff at Maitland Christian were contacted via email on Thursday morning, confirming the two positive cases and asking people to immediately pick up their kids.

‘Our school has been advised by NSW Health that two students at our school have tested positive for COVID-19,’ the message reads.

‘Please collect your children immediately, even if you are an essential worker.

‘Our school will be non-operational effective immediately for the on-site attendance of staff and visitors to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning. 

‘All staff and students are asked to self-isolate until you receive further advice. Children will be safely supervised until picked up this morning, but please treat this as urgent for colleciton of all students immediately.’ 

Local member for Wyong David Harris confirmed the cases to at least three students at Lake Munmorah Public and Morisset High.  

‘Last night unfortunately a family has tested positive closing two schools,’ he said Thursday morning.

‘Now hundreds of children and families will be on edge waiting to find out if there’s been further spread.’ 

He said his wife, who is a teacher at Lake Munmorah Public, was booked in for the Pfizer jab last week, only to be told her vaccine was going to Sydney Year 12 students. 

The Target worker worked a five-hour shift while infectious, with the shop now a high-risk exposure site.

Anyone in attendance on Sunday August 1 between 8:30am and 1:30pm must immediately get tested and isolate. 

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper confirmed the Target has been closed for deep cleaning. 

‘I am not aware of any other exposure sites at this stage,’ he said.

‘We will know more later this morning.’ 

A child at Morisset High School has tested for coronavirus plunging the students and staff immediately into isolation

A child at Morisset High School has tested for coronavirus plunging the students and staff immediately into isolation

There have been reports that vaccines meant for the area had been re-distributed to areas of west and south-west Sydney to deal with the ongoing outbreak. 

News of the cases has sent shockwaves through the coastal community located an hour and a half north of Sydney on the way to Newcastle.  

Parents voiced their distress on social media after being notified of the outbreak through the school’s Facebook page.

‘Does anyone know what days? My child attends a few days a week when I work, obviously we will isolate and test but I’m wondering if I need to warn people I’ve worked with,’ one mother wrote.

‘Cassie it’s really hard hey. Not enough information about what we are to do when this happens,’ another parent posted. 

‘Praying for everyone , my grandkids attend the school and have been going to school during lockdown , praying for a good outcome prayers,’ a grandparent commented. 



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