COVID-19 cluster grows to 19 in Newcastle and the Hunter

The COVID-19 cluster in Newcastle and the Hunter has grown to 19 today.

Hunter New England Health (HNEH) have confirmed seven cases across the health district – one in Armidale and six in Newcastle:

• A female in her teens from Armidale, who is a family household contact of the two cases in Armidale announced yesterday.
• A young female who attends Morisset High School, who is the second case linked to the Central Coast case announced on Thursday.
• A male young adult and a male in his 20s, who are linked to the Blacksmith Beach gathering cluster.
• A female young adult and a male in his 20s, linked to the University of Newcastle cases.
– Links between the University of Newcastle cases and the Blacksmith Beach party cluster reported earlier are still being investigated.
• A male in his 30s from Raymond Terrace. Investigations into the source of his infection are still ongoing.

This takes the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 20 (19 for Newcastle).

There was also a very low level detection in a possible case in a male in his 40s working in Boggabri. Further urgent testing being conducted today.

Hunter New England Health is contacting close contacts of all confirmed cases and are asking them to be tested and self-isolate for 14 days from last contact.

Hunter New England Health has been notified of a large number of new venues of concern associated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region.

The District expects to announce more exposure sites throughout the day.

HNE Health advice on COVID-19 and testing across the district:

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is highly transmissible with close contact. Everyone is advised to avoid gatherings and limit unnecessary travel wherever possible.

Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to get tested. Even those with mild symptoms such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose should arrange testing as quickly as possible.

There is a very high demand for testing, and we thank the community for its patience and for continuing to seek testing. As confirmed cases and exposure sites increase, we also ask people to avoid our hospitals wherever possible. Please use testing sites and drive-through testing clinics wherever you can.

The new pop-up drive through testing site at McDonald Jones Stadium (294 Turton Rd, Broadmeadow), run by Laverty Pathology, has extended operating hours and will now operate Monday to Friday from 7am to 10pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 7.30am to 10pm. Hunter New England Health is working with other partners to explore options for additional and expanded testing clinics in the Newcastle area.

The Armidale Hospital drive-through testing clinic has extended its operating hours and will operate 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week. Clinic hours may be extended further if required. Laverty Pathology also operates a drive-through testing clinic in Armidale, and Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology operates a walk-in clinic on weekdays.

Testing clinics in the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie, Glen Innes and Inverell have also extended operating hours.

Public and private testing clinics are now open with extended hours. For a full list of clinics and addresses visit