NSW records 1,259 new local COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths as state hits vaccine milestone

It comes as curfews in western and southwestern Sydney's 12 local government areas of concern are lifted.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during a press conference at Olympic Park in Sydney, Wednesday, September 15, 2021. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during a press conference at Olympic Park in Sydney, Wednesday, 15 September, 2021. Source: AAP

New South Wales has recorded 1,259 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, with authorities revealing the state has reached its 80 per cent first-dose vaccination target. 

It makes NSW the first state or territory to vaccinate 80 per cent of its residents aged over 16 with at least their first dose of a vaccine. 

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said this is an "incredible milestone given the journey we've all been on" and thanked residents for their efforts.

There were also 12 deaths reported in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday, including a woman in her 30s, two people in their 50s, three people in their 60s, three people in their 70s, two peopled in their 80s and a man in his 90s. 

It takes the death toll for the current outbreak to 198. 

There are now 1,241 patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospital, with 234 in intensive care and 108 of whom require ventilation. 

After announcing the state's vaccination target, the premier said evening curfews imposed on the 12 local government areas (LGAs) of concern in western and southwestern Sydney would lift from Wednesday night. 

"Given we've hit the 80 per cent milestone across the state, we're able to lift the curfew in those areas of concern from tonight," she said. 

"This is a whole-of-government decision based on a number of factors but I want to send this strong message: We can't move on anything else just now. We need everybody to hold the line.

"Please make sure that if you live in those LGAs of concern that you stick to every other rule that's in place."

Ms Berejiklian said authorities have observed a "stabilisation in the last few days" and  "we don't want to see that trend go the wrong way."

Curfew lifted in Sydney LGAs of concern after vaccination milestone

The premier said 47.5 per cent of the state's adult population over 16 are fully vaccinated.

There will be a significant easing of restrictions for the fully vaccinated at 70 per cent double-dose coverage, with more "freedoms" - including international travel - at 80 per cent double-dose coverage.

The 70 per cent milestone is expected in mid-October.

"We know it's been a stretch. We know it's been a struggle but there's only a few weeks left before we get to 70 per cent double dose," Ms Berejiklian said. 

With AAP. 

Published 15 September 2021 at 11:20am, updated 15 September 2021 at 6:59pm
By Emma Brancatisano
Source: SBS News