The new year has started with a stark COVID reality check for Parkes Shire residents as the third and largest wave of the outbreak did not spare our town this time round.
On Wednesday another 14 positive cases were added to bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Parkes Shire to 336, of which 220 were still active with the Omi-cron variant proving more contagious and difficult to contain.
The highest daily rate so far for Parkes was recorded on 15th January with a total of 35 new cases.
The COVID situation was discussed at the Parkes Shire Council meeting on Tuesday. Chief Operating Officer Anthony McGrath reported that while a total of 24 staff members had contracted COVID so far, it had not yet impacted Council’s services.
“We’ve put special management procedures in place to ensure water and sewage staff do not have to be in contact at work,” Mayor Ken Keith said.
Deputy Mayor Neil Westcott highlighted the positive effect being vaccinated had with 67% of all hospitalisations were of people not vaccinated at all. “We need to remain vigilant and make sure to get vaccinated,” he said.
Parkes has been earmarked for a special vaccination hub for booster shots and children aged five to 11. The date of the hub will be confirmed soon.