The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the Hunter New England region is over 1,000 for the first time, with a record 97 cases today.
- Children account for 20 percent of Hunter cases
- Cases are on the rise in unvaccinated people
- Concerns are growing around eight days of exposure at a Singleton pub
Health authorities said unvaccinated people under 40 accounted for most cases and were responsible for the majority of the spread in the community.
Public health controller Dr. David Durrheim said there had also been an alarming increase in cases in recent weeks in Aboriginal communities where people were still unvaccinated.
Dr. Durrheim said the proportion of natives among the new cases had jumped from about one percent to 20 percent in the past week.
Detect cases of coronavirus
For the third day in a row, the Hunter New England health district had the largest number of cases outside Sydney and the third highest in the state.
Friday’s record numbers have pulled the region’s seven-day case average to 78 a day.
It also pushed the number of active cases to 1,014.
42 of the new cases were isolated during their period of infection, while 34 were contagious in the community and 21 are under investigation.
In Hunter’s local government areas, there were 27 new cases in Lake Macquarie, 23 in Cessnock, 17 in Maitland, six in Newcastle, six in Singleton and three in Port Stephens.
There were also eight new cases in Tamworth, six on the Mid Coast and one in Gunnedah.
Hundreds of children among cases
Health authorities have revealed that about one in five people with COVID-19 in the Hunter region is a child.
Dr. Paul Craven of Hunter New England Health said there were more than 200 children among the region’s active causes.
Dr. Craven said most children receive home care through a specialized team of nurses, doctors and allied health professionals.
He said very few children had experienced serious illness, but their parents, especially the unvaccinated, were a much bigger concern.
“Almost all children are doing extremely well and we do not see them in the hospital at all,” he said.
“When children are sick with COVID, their parents often test positive, and it is they who get sicker.”
Unvaccinated cases increase
Data from Hunter New England Health (HNEH) shows that since September 14, unvaccinated people between the ages of 10 and 49 have accounted for the vast majority of COVID cases.
It reveals that about 67 percent of the cases are unvaccinated, 25 percent have had their first shot and just eight percent had received two doses.
“Connections and transmission occur primarily between families and in social contexts along with a series of workplace transfers,” a HNEH post said on social media.
“What we see happening is transmission between adults / parents, who then transmit the virus to their household members (partners and children).
“Between September 14 and today, vaccines have become significantly more accessible to all age groups.”
Concern in Singleton
There are concerns about a looming outbreak at a pub in Singleton, which has been listed as a hotspot on eight separate days.
The exposure at the Horse and Jockey Hotel runs from September 28 to October 6, with a COVID-positive case spending up to five hours in the pub in a few days.
Singleton came out of the lockdown two weeks ago but has continued to have a small number of cases.
Anyone who attended the venue on the stated dates and times is considered random contacts and must be tested and isolated until a negative test result is received.
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