Please note: This story contains reference to people who have died.
An Aboriginal man has become the first person to die from COVID-19 in Far West New South Wales.
The 59-year-old Barkindji/Ngiyampaa man who tested positive for COVID-19 died at Broken Hill Health Service on Friday.
The man contracted the virus after being a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones and family and friends of people who lost their lives due to COVID,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“It’s a reminder about how deadly the disease is and how important it is for all of us to protect the most vulnerable, to make sure we get medical attention when we need it.”
The Far West region of NSW reported 11 new cases of the virus on Friday.
Of the 11 reported, 9 are located in Broken Hill. Currently there are 18 exposure sites listed in Broken Hill.
The remaining two cases were confirmed in Wilcannia.
Currently there are now 96 active cases in the Far West region, 57 in Broken Hill and 39 in Wilcannia.
Concerns are being raised for communities in both Far West and Western NSW, including Wilcannia, Enngonia and Broken Hill.
Support services on-the-ground are working to vaccinate communities, provide medical and hygienic resources and ensure food security and delivery.
Services such as Bourke Aboriginal Corporation are expanding their services to provide mental health support.
By Rachael Knowles