More regions in New South Wales have been plunged into lockdown after new cases of COVID were recorded.
Stay-at-home orders will be introduced for the local government area (LGA) of Gunnedah, near Tamworth in the state’s north east, from midnight on Monday until October 11.
Around 10,000 residents in the region will only be allowed to leave home for essential reasons, including shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise and work or tertiary education if unable to work or study at home.
The order also applies to anyone who has been in the Gunnedah Shire since September 27.
“NSW Health will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation,” a government statement read.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said six cases had been identified and it was “heartbreaking” for the Gunnedah community.
“I feel for them at this time,” he said in a Facebook post.
89 per cent of eligible Gunnedah residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, but only 46.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile lockdowns will be implemented for residents in the postcodes 2430 and 2428 in the Mid Coast LGA of NSW.
Those postcodes encompass the towns of Taree, Forster and Tuncurry.
The orders apply to anyone who was in those areas since September 27.
Lockdowns will still be lifted in two other LGAs as scheduled.
Cowra’s stay-at-home orders will end at 12.01am on Tuesday morning, while Port Macquarie’s finish at 11.59pm on Tuesday night.
NSW recorded 623 new local cases of COVID on Monday, the lowest daily case number for the state since late August and the third day in a row below the 700 mark.
Another six people have died, bringing the toll for the current outbreak to 378.
Of the six people who died, four were not vaccinated, one had received a first dose, and one woman aged in her 90s was fully vaccinated.
There are currently 959 people in hospital with COVID in NSW, with 193 in intensive care, and 97 people on ventilators.
It’s hoped the lower case numbers are a sign the current outbreak is diminishing, with restrictions scheduled to ease a week from Monday.
– with AAP