Covid cases have now spread all throughout Southern NSW, and for the first time Yass has casual contact venues.

If you were at IGA Yass on the 2nd of September between 4:00 and 4:30 pm, or at Caltex Yass on the 4th of September between 4:15 and 4:45 pm you must get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative test. The Yass Valley still has zero cases at this stage, so it is assumed the infected person came from outside the LGA and stopped at those locations.

Southern NSW Local Health District were notified of seven new Covid-19 cases on Monday at the following locations:

– 2 cases in Goulburn

– 1 case in Queanbeyan

– 1 case in Googong (close contact of previous case)

– 1 case in Karabar (Queanbeyan)

– 1 case in Batemans Bay

– 1 case in Cooma

NSW recorded 1220 new cases on Monday as well as eight deaths. .

Deputy Premier John Barilalo has previously stated that to exit the current lockdown restrictions,  regions would require zero cases for 14 days and no sewage detections within that time. On Friday he said that if a region remained in lockdown post the 10th of September, restrictions would not be eased until the state reached its first 70 per cent adult vaccination targets, which at current rates would be by October 18.

The Yass Valley passes both criteria with zero cases and no sewage detections, but it’s unclear at this stage whether the NSW Government would consider taking the LGA out of the current lockdown, especially considering the new close contact locations in Yass. When you consider the cases that surround the Yass Valley in every direction, and with a significant portion of our workforce still travelling into Canberra, it feels incredibly unlikely that restrictions will be eased by the weekend. Therefore, a mid-October end to lockdown is now our most likely fate.

There was a scare in the Yass Valley last week regarding a positive case that attended The Baker in Sutton, however it appears no local cases have come from that incident. There have also been more than one positive case tested at the Yass testing area, including one confirmed on Monday afternoon from Harden. This case travelled to Yass, as it was the closest available testing at the time. He was staying at the Lighthorse Hotel in Harden-Murrumburrah.

At least until September 10 there remains only four essential reasons people are allowed to leave their home:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services. You must shop within 5km of home if you are within greater Sydney. Browsing in shops is prohibited, and only one person per household, a day may leave the home for shopping.
  • Medical care or compassionate needs, including getting a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of two, who cannot travel further than 5km from their home or local government area.
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home

Anyone who has even the most minor of COVID-19 symptoms, should get tested immediately and isolate. Those who are healthy and able to, should go get vaccinated.

Max O’Driscoll