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(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: SYDNEY: The NSW Western Region’s health chief is urging people to get tested for #COVID19, with record low numbers at some clinics #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Aug.24: Three thousand swabs were taken on Saturday, down dramatically from the 10,000 recorded late last week: Another 36 cases were confirmed yesterday, with 23 in Dubbo and six each in Orange and Bathurst….

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says Sydney Health authorities worried by low testing numbers in state’s Western region as another 36-cases were confirmed on Sunday and here’s what you need to know this morning with 825 cases reported on Saturday

The Western Local Health District’s chief executive Scott McLachlan said authorities were particularly concerned about Bathurst’s testing numbers. 

“We know it’s nearly been a record low. We had an extra pathology team go there and they’ve sat around nearly idle all day wanting people to come and get tested,” he said

“So I’m really concerned that the people who’ve had confirmed cases in Bathurst, many of them were infectious in the community for quite some time.”

New curfew, mask rules from today

a woman walking along a street
Blacktown is one the 12 government areas where the 9pm-5am curfew applies.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

A curfew, outdoor mask-wearing and limits to exercising are among the new public health restrictions that take effect in NSW from today.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new rules were about “doing everything we can” to stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, including extending the lockdown for another month until September 30.

People living in the 12 local government areas (LGAs) of concern in south-west and Western Sydney are no longer able to leave their homes from 9:00pm to 5:00am. Exemptions apply for authorised workers, emergency situations or to seek medical treatment.

Exercise in these areas has also been limited to an hour a day.

Anyone found breaking curfew will be issued with a fine, sent home and could be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days under more powers given to police.

COVID again hits transport routes

an empty train station
From today, Sydney trains will run to a modified weekend timetable.(ABC News: Ursula Malone)

Public transport timetables in Greater Sydney have again been adjusted from today after hundreds of staff were forced to isolate.

Transport for NSW chief operations officer Howard Collins said that while their focus was on essential workers, services would continue to be impacted by the Delta variant.

“Transport for NSW will adjust services where we can, but we expect COVID-related staffing issues to continue to affect services,” he said.

“Please only use the network if you are making essential trips and please plan ahead before you leave home — this is really important as changes and cancellations can happen throughout the day.”

During the week, Sydney buses and trains will operate on a modified weekend timetable, with additional services at peak times to support essential workers.

COVID-19 closes more schools

Chullora Public School
Chullora Public School has closed after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.(Supplied)

A number of schools across Sydney have been closed after COVID-positive cases were identified.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to outline a plan this week to get students back to school. 

Chullora Public School in the Canterbury-Bankstown local government area has closed to staff and students to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning, after a member of the school community tested positive.

An infected staff member also forced the closure of Carlton Public School in Sydney’s south.

St Mary’s Public School, Lane Cove West Public and Leichhardt Public will all reopen from today following contact tracing and self-isolation periods for close contacts of positive cases.

Calls to help local Afghan students

More than 12 schools in Sydney and Newcastle have called out for help for their students from Afghan backgrounds.

The counselling service for refugees or STARTTS said it had been approached in the last week by mainly high schools in Western Sydney, where the bulk of the community resides.

Chief executive Jorge Aroche said the fall of Kabul in Afghanistan to the Taliban has been distressing for refugee families, and children in particular.

“There’s a lot of anger, there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the situation, so that will affect their [students] behaviour,” Mr Aroche said.

‘In some cases they will be acting out. In some cases they will be depressed and basically not wanting to engage in things.”

He said his organisation had well-developed school liaison programs after working with refugees and trauma for 30 years. Youth workers and child adolescent counsellors from STARTTS will now work with the schools to support Afghan students.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: Aug.24: 2021:

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