BATHURST and the Central West will remain under lockdown through to mid October, unless individual local government areas can go 14 days without any cases of community transmission.
The news of an extension to lockdown in many regional areas came as little surprise on Thursday, with cases numbers continuing to climb on a daily basis.
At 11am, it was announced that the following LGAs would remain under the strict stay-at-home orders: Bathurst, Bega, Blayney, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cabonne, Central Coast, Central Darling, Cessnock, Dubbo, Dungog, Eurobodalla, Forbes, Gilgandra, Goulburn, Mulwarre, Kiama, Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Narromine, Newcastle, Orange, Parkes, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Snowy Monaro, Upper Hunter, Walgett, and Wingecarribee.
Deputy premier John Barilaro said there will be opportunities for those LGAs to come out of lockdown early, but otherwise they could expect to be lockdown until October 18, when restrictions are set to be eased for the fully vaccinated.
"Those councils, and technically every council, will every week be reviewed, so there is an opportunity for others to continue to come out based on the last exposure in the community, and that will be our approach going forward," he said.
Conversely, LGAs that have been released could go back into lockdown.
"If you get a case, or we get high levels of sewage surveillance that we are concerned about, the chief health officer in Dr Kerry Chant will lock down a region automatically for 14 days, and that is a fair, balanced approach in making sure that we protect communities," Mr Barilaro said.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole acknowledge the extension to lockdown would be difficult, but reminded people it was about keeping the community safe.
"I know it's tough on many people - tough on families at home that are doing home schooling, tough on businesses, tough on people's mental health, tough not being able to catch up with family and friends - but the roadmap does point to October 18 as an important data in our communities and really I think we all need to be working towards that goal," he said.
"Nobody asks for a pandemic. This is something we've never had to deal with before in this country, and the primary focus is about keeping people safe, but then being in a position to reopen the economy as well, in a safe way."
He reminded people to keep coming forward to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, saying it was the path out of lockdowns in NSW.
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