CENTRAL West figures exceeded 1000 positive infections over the weekend while cases of COVID-19 continue to sit on the western radar, despite term one of schooling fast-approaching.
With the high-demand and shortage of RAHT kits across the state, staff from child-related services and their parents remain confused as to how the the first term will unfold, with many government representatives continuing to pin 'panic buying' as part-blame for the shortage.
Primary school children aged five to 11 will also return to school at the start of February next month, either in receipt of a first vaccine only - with the effects still inactive - or unvaccinated altogether.
Amidst these growing uncertainties, Western NSW Local Health District reported 347 cases across the region to 8pm on Sunday, January 16
The total of people in hospitals across the west battling the virus is at 41, with three receiving treatment in ICU; with the end-to-end reports showing an additional three people hospitalised, with one more person admitted to ICU overnight.
Numbers for Orange dropped between reports, recording 70 cases in the city; a figure down from 89.
Figures for two other main western hubs also fell slightly, with Bathurst at 61 (down from 68), and Dubbo at 115 (down from 131); six of those connected to Wellington.
Parkes and Mid-Western LGA's each have 27 cases, with 13 Mudgee infections connected to the mid-west's figure, while Oberon clocked an even 10 infections.
There are seven Cabonne Shire cases, which include two in Molong, while Forbes has six, and five in each the Warrumbungle and Blayney shires.
Three infections are each recorded for the areas of Bogan, Gilgandra, and Narromine, while the remaining single cases were detected in Cobar, Cowra, Warren, Coonamble, and Lachlan; with one of these connected to Condobolin.
To narrow the window of disruption in education and care settings, NSW Health has endorsed the use of Rapid Antigen Home Testing (RAHT) for when there are positive COVID-19 case exposures within those services; such as school and child care settings.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Educationconfirmed the department would proactively sending RAHT kits to all services, "to allow educators to start testing, following a positive case exposure, and return to work so that services can continue to operate".
With the high-demand and shortage of RAHT kits across the state, child-related service staff and parents remain confused as to how this will unfold, with many government representative continuing to pin 'panic buying' as part-blame for the shortage.
Statewide, NSW has recorded 29,504 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm on Sunday, January 16.
There were 17 lives lost in the latest report; this number is down from the prior report's death toll of 20.
There are currently 2,776 people hospitalised from COVID-19 across the state, with 203 receiving treatment in ICU.
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Rates for three doses of a COVID vaccine are at 26.1 per cent, while 13.1 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Those aged 12 to 15 are at 82.1 per cent for one dose of a vaccine, and 78.3 per cent for two.
PCR testing numbers are at 17,646, while RAHT results recorded 11,858; the latter figure includes 10,187 of these being positive tests reported from the past seven-day period.
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