DIGEST

Informer: Keep calm and carry... omicron?

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard (left) said he is waiting for test results for two more students at Regents Park Christian School in south west Sydney during a press conference on Friday.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard (left) said he is waiting for test results for two more students at Regents Park Christian School in south west Sydney during a press conference on Friday.

When the Delta COVID-19 variant turned up in Victoria and NSW, many of us waited with bated breath to see how it would unfold.

Now plenty of people are holding their breath all over again.

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard says two students at a south west Sydney high school are being tested for Delta's unwelcome cousin, Omicron.

Hazzard said the student who originally tested positive for the new variant was "the first case that we know of" who had no travel history.

"At least until there's further investigation, it would appear that the case could well be an on-NSW-soil transmission," he said.

No doubt plenty of NSW folk are already saying to themselves - and maybe even out loud - "here we go again".

The Northern Territory is still battling its own COVID-19 outbreak, and today the territory experienced its first death as a result of the virus - an unvaccinated woman in her 70s from the remote Binjari community.

NT Police have launched an investigation into the possibility that criminal actions may have led to the woman's death.

"Unfortunately, this death does apparently have links to a breach...It appeared to be the seed that started the spread of COVID within the Northern Territory and as such major crime are now undertaking an investigation," the territory's police commissioner said.

It's only a few weeks until Christmas and parts of the NT are still in lockdown.

Here's hoping that Christmas all over Australia will be free of restrictions and lockdown this year.

As a colleague said to me today: "I'm dreaming of a non-lockdown Christmas, just like the ones I used to know".

The federal government is urging us to remain calm though...so keep calm and carry on, I guess.

La Nina continues to keep eastern Australia under her damp and stormy spell with towns on the border of NSW and Queensland evacuated this morning.

But while residents of the eastern states are donning gumboots and raincoats, those in the northwest of Australia are preparing to swelter under an "extreme" heatwave.

You really never can pick the weather in our wonderful country - it's one of its many great mysteries.

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