The coronavirus pandemic took a tragic turn last Thursday when the Central Coast recorded its first COVID-19 death during the current outbreak, with the passing of a woman in her 50s.
Dr Kat Taylor, the Public Health Director of Central Coast Local Health District, confirmed the woman died on September 9 at Gosford Hospital after testing positive to COVID-19 but also with an underlying medical condition.
In the past week the number of positive COVID cases has more than doubled, from 130 on September 7 to 278 on September 14.
For the first time, COVID is spreading in every postcode area on the Central Coast.
Dr Taylor said cases were increasing rapidly in some suburbs – Lake Haven, San Remo, Killarney Vale, Budgewoi, Halekulani, Norah Head, Noraville, Toukley, Kanwal, Tumbi Umbi, Chittaway Bay, Chittaway Point, Glenning Valley, Fountaindale, Berkeley Vale, Tuggerah, Mardi, Wyong, Tacoma South, Rocky Point, Tuggerawong, Watanobbi and Ourimbah.
She is urging everyone, regardless of where they live, to be tested to locate undetected virus sources, and most importantly to get vaccinated.
Three more schools were closed in the past week with Toukley Public School being the seventh since the beginning of August.
Our Lady of the Rosary at The Entrance, Tuggerah Public School and the Toukley school which includes the Out of School Hours program and Kooloora Pre-School have all since reopened following deep cleaning.
Residents were hoping to come out of lockdown on Friday last week, but Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Stay-at-Home Public Health Orders would remain in place because of concerns over the rising number of COVID cases.
However, as previously announced, five people who are fully vaccinated can gather outdoors in public places such as beaches and parks, but not in residential backyards.
Masks are still required outdoors unless exercising, eating or drinking, and all adults must be from the same local government area and be able to show proof of vaccination.
Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the group of five.
The State Government’s Roadmap to Recovery, announced on September 9, says further restrictions will begin to be lifted once 70 per cent double vaccination rates have been achieved, which is expected to be mid-October.
At this stage, the Central Coast has a double vaccination rate of 45.5 per cent and 77.6 per cent have received one dose (as at September 12).