Statements made about local coronavirus cases
During the course of the last month, the Central Coast Local Health District has made a number of statements through social media about local coronavirus cases.
However, it has not given any direct information about the location of coronavirus cases on the Central Coast or how many households have been involved.
This information was available on another NSW Government website.
The first information about the case in the 2257 postcode area came in Local Health District advice on December 18 that a Central Coast resident had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
A close contact who lived in the same household was tested.
Passengers on the 6.15pm ferry from Palm Beach to Wagstaffe on Wednesday, December 16, were considered casual contacts and asked to monitor for symptoms.
A walk-in Covid-19 testing clinic was established at the Woy Woy Hospital next to the kiosk, on Ocean Beach Rd, to operate from Saturday, December 19, to Tuesday, December 22.
On December 20, NSW Health advised that a second Central Coast resident had been diagnosed with Covid-19, linked to the Avalon cluster.
The advice did not disclose whether the second case was the close contact who lived in the same house as the first.
Central Coast Local Health District advised through social media that there was "no ongoing risk to the community in relation to this case", but did not explain what it meant by that.
The Woy Woy Hospital testing clinic continued to operate.
On December 21, drive-through testing at the Koolewong boat ramp was announced as available every day from 7:30am to 3:30pm every day of the week.
On December 23, an alert was issued stating a Western Sydney resident who had been visiting the Central Coast has tested positive.
This case visited the Saltwater Bistro, Avoca Beach Hotel on Sunday, December 20, between 7.40 and 8.30pm.
The alert stated that anyone who attended the bistro at this venue at the specified time was considered a casual contact and must get tested and isolate until they received a negative test result. They should then continue to monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days and if any symptoms occur, get tested again.
"The Western Sydney resident has been in isolation since being tested and has since returned to Western Sydney, where they remain in isolation.
"Close contacts of this case are all in isolation and have tested negative to date. This case has been linked to the Avalon cluster.
"There are currently two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Central Coast Local Health District. The case from Western Sydney is not included in these numbers."
The State Government Data NSW website reported two cases being notified for the 2257 postcode area on December 18.
Central Coast Local Health District classified the Western Sydney case as "low risk to the Central Coast community".
"It serves as a reminder of the importance of physical distancing, good hand hygiene and remaining alert for the symptoms of Covid-19."
Covid-19 fragments were detected in the Kincumber sewage treatment plant on December 21.
On December 29, the Local Health District advised that a third Central Coast resident had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
"As this person had been identified as a household contact of a previous Central Coast case linked to the Avalon cluster, they were already isolating at home before becoming infectious."
The social media post stated that there was "therefore no risk to the community" and no venues of concern.
Data NSW recorded a case in the 2257 postcode area as being notified on December 28.
On December 30, the diagnosis of a fourth Central Coast resident was announced.
The person had been identified as a close contact of a case linked to the Avalon cluster, and "were already isolating at home before becoming infectious".
This person's household contact was also already isolating at home.
"There is therefore no risk to the community and no venues of concern to alert people to.
"This person and their household contact remain in self-isolation at home, with health staff undertaking daily wellness checks."
Data NSW recorded a case in the 2257 postcode area as being notified on December 29.
On January 5, the Local Health District advised in a social media post that a Central Coast resident returning from overseas had tested positive while in hotel quarantine in Sydney.
It stated: "The resident has been in isolation in hotel quarantine since arriving in Australia ... and they will be released from isolation once health staff confirm that the infection has cleared."
It stated that "this case does not present any ongoing risk to the community".
Data NSW recorded a case in the 2251 postcode area as being notified on January 4.
At no time in the last month has Central Coast Local Health District acknowledged the cases exist in the 2257 postcode area, nor the number of households involved.
In a statement to Peninsula News, Health District acting chief executive Ms Kate Lyons said these details were not released "for privacy reasons".
She did not explain how revealing that a number of cases or households existed in a postcode area with a population of 29,000 could be a privacy matter, or why another government department did not seem to regard it so.
Social media, 18 Dec 2020-5 Jan 2021
Media statement, 6 Jan 2021
Kate Lyons, Central Coast Local Health District