Stop the countdowns: 14 days COVID-free doesn’t guarantee end of lockdown

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People have been reminded that two straight weeks without a COVID case does not guarantee a Local Government Area will exit lockdown. Speaking on Tuesday, Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan was told about a trend happening on social media where people are counting the days until their LGA has 14 COVID-free days, assuming this would mean they would have restrictions lifted. Mr McLachlan said that while this was the main determining factor, there were other reasons why an LGA like Orange could remain in lockdown after a two week period with no cases. “I know the 14 days is occupying everyone’s minds at the moment,” he said. “We know that assessment will be the 14 day mark if there hasn’t been an active case identified in that period and that’s the major decision point. “I know the specialist team at the state-wide level will do some of those assessments. I know that testing rates, sewage detections and some of the other surveillance things need to be taken into account if we do see continuing declines in testing numbers and there’s been people infectious in the community then certainly that for me raises real concerns and worries.” The last positive COVID case for Orange came on September 11, while testing numbers across the region sat at about 2400 for Monday, September 13. Active COVID cases are defined as people who have tested positive for the virus, are in isolation and are being clinically monitored by NSW Health. Cases are considered active for 14 days after their symptom onset date. Cases who have been hospitalised are considered active until they are discharged. Mr McLachlan added that people need to be cautious, regardless of how many days an LGA has gone without a case. “I think we all need to be really cognizant here that COVID isn’t going to pop its head up to say ‘I’m here’,” the health boss added. “Particularly for the community of Orange, we know there’s been people infections in the community and the most recent case was identified on September 11. “While the clock might be ticking on that, we know that any day of the week there’s people potentially infectious in the community.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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People have been reminded that two straight weeks without a COVID case does not guarantee a Local Government Area will exit lockdown.

Speaking on Tuesday, Western NSW Local Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan was told about a trend happening on social media where people are counting the days until their LGA has 14 COVID-free days, assuming this would mean they would have restrictions lifted.

Mr McLachlan said that while this was the main determining factor, there were other reasons why an LGA like Orange could remain in lockdown after a two week period with no cases.

“I know the 14 days is occupying everyone’s minds at the moment,” he said.

“We know that assessment will be the 14 day mark if there hasn’t been an active case identified in that period and that’s the major decision point.

“I know the specialist team at the state-wide level will do some of those assessments. I know that testing rates, sewage detections and some of the other surveillance things need to be taken into account if we do see continuing declines in testing numbers and there’s been people infectious in the community then certainly that for me raises real concerns and worries.”

The last positive COVID case for Orange came on September 11, while testing numbers across the region sat at about 2400 for Monday, September 13.

Active COVID cases are defined as people who have tested positive for the virus, are in isolation and are being clinically monitored by NSW Health. Cases are considered active for 14 days after their symptom onset date. Cases who have been hospitalised are considered active until they are discharged.

Mr McLachlan added that people need to be cautious, regardless of how many days an LGA has gone without a case.

“I think we all need to be really cognizant here that COVID isn’t going to pop its head up to say ‘I’m here’,” the health boss added.

“Particularly for the community of Orange, we know there’s been people infections in the community and the most recent case was identified on September 11.

“While the clock might be ticking on that, we know that any day of the week there’s people potentially infectious in the community.”

Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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