‘Disturbing’: Tamworth Country Music Festival to clash with predicted NSW Omicron peak, worrying local GPs. The 50th anniversary event is still expected to go ahead, but GPs and organisers say the ‘timing couldn’t be worse’.
Key points:COVID-19 modelling predicts there could be up to 25,000 cases per day in NSW by JanuaryThe spike coincides with Tamworth’s Country Music Festival 50th anniversary, attracting hundreds of thousands peopleOrganisers say the event is still going ahead, but Tamworth GPs are worried Minister for Health Brad Hazzardthe state should brace itself for up to 25,000 COVID-19 cases per day next month.Although this has been labelled as”very preliminary”by the report’s University of NSW authors, Tamworth locals have been rattled.
Tamworth’s Country Music Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary on January 14, 2022, with a 10-day event.The festival, expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people, will fall at the same time as the modelling’s COVID case peak.”It’s timing couldn’t be worse, at the same time that the state government’s relaxed most of the restrictions applied to venues,” festival manager Barry Harley said. headtopics.com
“To get that modelling is a bit disturbing.”The reality of the situation is whatever the health orders are of the day, we and the venues obviously will comply.”Mr Harley said many of the venues hosting performances and festival goers already had their own safety plans in place.
The famous cavalcade through Tamworth’s main street has changed to a static event due to COVID-19, the second time since the 1980s.He said he didn’t believe the event would see normality again.”The serious side of the festival is it injects somewhere up to $70 million in the economy and in 2021 we took that away, and we have a community that is $70 million less already.”
“There’s hundreds of businesses relying on this festival to go ahead to stay in business.”We’d like to be risks adverse, but given the latest easing of restrictions, we like to think it’s still going ahead.”Tamworth GPs worried
NSW recorded 1,742 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.It’s theever recorded in the state in a day, breaking NSW’s previous peak of 1,603 on September 11.Find more local newsTell us your location and find more local ABC News and information headtopics.com
Tamworth GP, Jenny May, urged people to take “personal responsibility” to limit their exposure to the virus, in the wake of the latest modelling.”I want people to be really thinking about where they are if they wish to reduce their risk of catching the virus,” Dr May said.
“For those who are vulnerable it may be important for them to take some personal responsibility and be careful in what they do.”GPs fear a possible influx of COVID positive people could put pressure on local health services.(Jennifer Ingall)
Dr May said if the modelling comes to fruition, it would place significant pressure on the health system in the New England North West region.”I think it’s troubling, It’s certainly fair to say with the figures Minister Hazzard quoted, I’m hoping might be at the top end of what might be expected,” she said.
“A high number of cases in [the Tamworth] region might put more pressure on our resources and the hospitals more generally.”Modelling is modelling and it’s very hard to know what will play out.”Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. headtopics.com