The Australian Government Acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, has extended the COVID-19 Hotspot for the purposes of Commonwealth support for Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong, until 28 August 2021.
A COVID-19 hotspot was initially declared for seven Local Government Areas in Sydney for the purposes of Commonwealth support from 23 June 2021 for 7 days, with subsequent extensions announced. The current COVID-19 hotspot declaration for Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong, is in place until 11:59pm on 30 July 2021.
Community transmission and increasing case numbers have continued in these areas, with ongoing emergence of epidemiologically unlinked cases, and cases who were infectious while in the community. Accordingly, the Acting Australian Government Chief Medical Officer has extended the Hotspot for the purposes of Commonwealth support for all LGAs in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong until 11:59pm on 28 August 2021, with further review on or before 28 August 2021.
Professor Kidd reminds the community of the increased risk of the highly transmissible Delta variant and requests that they continue to follow the directions of New South Wales Health.
All people are encouraged to continue to book their COVID-19 vaccination. Getting vaccinated is considered a valid reason to leave home.
Declaring a hotspot for Commonwealth support enables:
- Provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the National Medical Stockpile
- Actions for aged care facilities including PPE, single site workforce supplement and integration of an aged care response centre into the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre
- Assistance with contact tracing, if requested
- Asymptomatic testing via General Practitioner led Respiratory Clinics
- Reprioritisation of vaccine supplies, if required
- Access to COVID-19 Disaster Payment, if eligibility criteria are met
- Two Medicare Benefits Schedule items for telehealth consultations for patients in COVID-19 hotspots