The Orange Local Government area, as well as Blayney and Cabonne Shire Councils, will be plunged into a seven day lockdown from midnight tonight as health officials and politicians race to get ahead of a growing COVID concern in the city.
The unprecedented step from the state government is on the back of a positive test emerging in Blayney on Tuesday and then confirmation that case exposed the virus to five different locations across Orange on July 16 and July 17.
The reasons to leave home are as follows:
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
- Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact);
- Exercise outdoors in groups of 2 or fewer (unless members of the same household);
- Work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.
- To attend a wedding or a funeral (but only during the grace period, which ends at 12:01am on Friday 23 July 2021). After this date, funerals will be limited to 10 people.
- Masks must be worn indoors (not including the home) and in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance from others (e.g. while queuing for takeaway).
The Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Paul Toole said it was still undecided whether Cabonne and Blayney will also be forced to lockdown.
"This decision has been made to protect the community and keep people safe," Minister Toole said.
This decision has been made to protect the community and keep people safe.National deputy leader Paul Toole
He said while medical appointments can still be kept, people are asked to avoid going to Orange Health Service.
Mr Toole confirmed the retail sector will remain open, although people were asked to make limited trips to the shops, with masks mandatory.
He said schools will remain operating as they have been, with high students wearing masks.
The construction industry will also continue to operate as normal, with masks mandatory. People can also attend work if necessary.
Residents in the Orange LGA can't travel outside the area for the next seven days. The same stay-at-home rules apply for residents in the Blayney Shire Council and Cabonne Shire Council.
The snap decision makes the Orange region the first regional centre in NSW to be placed into its own lockdown.
NSW Health says anyone who has attended the following locations is deemed a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result, and call 1800 943 553 unless they have already been contacted by NSW Health:
- Orange, EG Fuelco Australia, 1 Hanrahan Place: Saturday 17 July, 5.45pm-6pm
- Orange, Officeworks Orange, 179/181 Byng Street: Saturday 17 July, 4.35pm-5.05pm
- Orange, Woolworths, North Orange Shopping Centre, 9 Telopea Way: Friday 16 July 3pm-3.30pm; Saturday, 1.20pm-1.50pm
- Orange, Pizza Hut, 33 Bathurst Road: Saturday 17 July, 4.55pm-5.05pm
- Orange, CTC Orange, North Orange Shopping Centre, Shop 8, 9 Telopea Way: Saturday 17 July, 1.50pm-2pm
As of Tuesday evening, Orange City Council postponed its July 20 meeting to be held at the Old Town Hall, which is now the OCTEC building.
The Greater Sydney region - including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour - was placed into lockdown on June 26 and has had the stay-at-home orders tightened over the course of the last month as health officials attempt to get to flatten the curve.
Those wishing to exercise can do so with one other person, outside, and within a 10km radius of their home.
The current stay at home orders that apply to Greater Sydney until 11.59pm on Friday, July 30.
DRIVE-THRU TESTING CLINIC LOCATIONS
- Location: Mountain Straight, Mount Panorama open from 8am to 4pm, daily.
- Location: Orange Showground open from 8am to 4pm, daily.
- Location: Parkes Showground (enter via Victoria Street) open from 8am to 4pm, through to Friday.
- Location: Blayney Showground (enter via Marshall's Lane main gate) open from 8am to 4pm, through to Friday.
- Location: The old Molong Train Station, open from 8am to 4pm, through to Friday.
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