Friday August 13, 2021: Five more COVID-19 cases have been reported on the Central Coast this week, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 25 since the start of lockdown on June 26.
Several more exposure sites have been added to the region’s tally.
While the bulk of sites is in the north of the region, several southern sites have been added at Gosford and Woy Woy, sparking concern over the spread of the virus.
New additions to the exposure site list include:
- Cakes by Kyla in Watt St, Gosford, between 10.25 and 1.30am on Wednesday, August 4;
- Woolworths, Gosford Imperial Centre, between 6.20 and 6.50pm on Thursday, August 5;
- Gosford Hospital’s Emergency Department entry doors and foyer area, between 5.50 and 6.15pm on Thursday, August 5 (the Emergency Department and its waiting area is not included); and
- Coles, Deepwater Plaza, Woy Woy between 8.30 and 9am on Monday August 9.
- Sydney Tools Tuggerah (20-124 Pacific Hwy, Tuggerah) Sunday 1 August, 11.10am to 11.40am
Anyone who attended these venues at the times listed is asked to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if any symptoms appear and then self-isolate until receiving a negative test result and symptoms have resolved.
On August 8, three new Coast cases were confirmed; the first linked to an exposure site at Lake Munmorah Public School; the second a household contact of the first; and the third a household contact of a previously known case.
On Wednesday, August 11, two more positive cases were announced, with no link between them.
Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) Public Health Director, Dr Kathryn Taylor, said while the Coast was doing “pretty well” it is “not an island” and health authorities are “extremely concerned”.
“If there’s just one undetected case in the community and that goes on for a week or two weeks that could really quickly mushroom into uncontrolled spread,” she said.
On Friday 2 new cases were announced.
One of the two new cases is in isolation, with the source of infection under investigation. The second case is linked to Lake Munmorah Public School, and is in isolation.
Contact tracing and case investigations are ongoing for both cases. Central Coast COVID-19 exposure sites are being assessed.
“We are unfortunately seeing the Hunter going through some of that pain and I really urge people to take things seriously; stay at home, don’t mix with other people and get tested if you have even the slightest of symptoms.
“Our community is quite connected to both Sydney and the Hunter and there are lots of essential workers who work in either area; we still have cases coming from Sydney on a regular basis so the people in the south need to be alert.”
Dr Taylor said a second sample from the Woy Woy Sewage Treatment Plant tested negative, after an earlier low-level detection had caused some concern.
“Sewage detection could mean a number of things,” she said.
“Basically, it does mean there was someone present at the time the sample was collected, which could either be a visitor or someone who has had COVID in the past – or the worst case scenario is that there is someone undetected in the community.
“Sewage gives us a signal that something is going on in the area, and we can see trends in whether the amount of virus is increasing or decreasing or whether it’s a very low-level detection.
“A low-level detection is a one-off detection suggesting a visitor that’s come and gone or shedding at the tail end of their infection.”
Dr Taylor said concerns remained high in the north of the region, where a number of cases have been recorded, and urged regular testing.
“We also know unfortunately that things are taking off in the Hunter New England area; they did have detections in the Belmont catchment, and they have also had cases linked with the Morisset High School,” she said.
“Everybody needs to be on very high alert for any symptoms – even for the mildest of symptoms.”
Terry Collins and Sue Murray
Verified information sources: Central Coast Local Health District, Media release, Thursday August 12 & Friday August 13, 2021.