Sydney news: Western Sydney construction workers return to sites, Dubbo faces COVID lockdown after positive case

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Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Back-to-work for construction workers

Construction workers can get back to work at unoccupied sites across Greater Sydney from today, as long as they have met the new vaccination rules, aimed at helping to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on worksites.

Under the new conditions announced by the state government on the weekend, construction sites must remain at half capacity and workers from the local government areas (LGAs) of concern need to have had at least their first jab.

Secretary for the CFMMEU construction union, Darren Greenfield said he expected to see a bit of chaos on sites due to all the checks that had to take place, but that workers would be glad to be earning some money.

“A lot of people in this industry were close to not having money to pay the next bill or the mortgage or rent or food … I think everyone will be aiming to get back into it and stay safe,” Mr Greenfield said.

He said a small proportion of the workforce were refusing to get vaccinated, but most had been lining up to get the jab or COVID tests in recent days.

Another regional centre could be locked down

NSW authorities are considering placing another regional centre into lockdown after a positive COVID-19 case at a school in Dubbo in central western NSW.

Health and education officials confirned that a member of the school community at Dubbo West Public School tested positive to COVID-19.

Nine close contacts have been identified and are in isolation but it’s not yet known how transmission occured.The school is closed today with staff and students asked to self isolate until they receive further advice.

COVID-19 fragments have also been detecticed in local sewerage samples.

The ABC understands the government is now considering plunging the Dubbo and Wellington local governent areas into a snap lockdown. It comes after several regions in the state’s north were forced into lockdown in recent days.

COVID cases at mental health unit

Two patients that had been admitted to a mental health centre in Western Sydney have tested positive for COVID-19.

The cases at the Nepean Mental Health Centre were last night confirmed by the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD).

A NSW Health spokesperson said all close contacts were being tested, and additional linked cases had been identified.

They also said measures had been put in place to protect staff, patients and visitors from COVID-19.

Extensive deep cleaning was also taking place at the facility.

Police vow ‘action’ to stop COVID spread

Senior police say the time for warnings has expired when it comes to enforcing compliance with COVID-19 public health orders.

With several regions across northern NSW in lockdown after infectious people travelled there from Sydney and elsewhere, police have stepped up their presence and have been stopping vehicles to make sure people are complying with the stay-at-home orders.

In the Byron Bay region, officers have been investigating a Sydney man who spent up to 10 days there with his children, while infectious.

Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna said the police operation had ramped-up to stop any further spread of the virus.

“The police are out in force, it’s no longer a time where we can or should be giving out warnings for this sort of thing,” Commissioner McKenna said.

“It’s too important now for law enforcement, so we will be taking action. And that could come in the form of fines, it could come in the form of arrest and charge, depending on the offences.”

(Original ABC Article)