NSW records 961 new local COVID-19 cases and nine more deaths

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is safe for NSW residents to begin planning for Christmas within the state.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian prepares to address media during a press conference outside the Covid Vaccination hub at Macquarie Fields, south west of Sydney, Friday, September 24, 2021. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addresses the media during a press conference. Source: AAP

New South Wales recorded 961 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and a further nine deaths on Sunday.

Of those who lost their lives, one person was in their 40s, two were in their 60s, two were in their 70s, and four were in their 80s.

Eight people were unvaccinated, and one had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state had passed 85 per cent first dose vaccination, while 59.25 had received two doses.

She confirmed that 50 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds have received their first dose.

NSW records 961 new cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths

"There is not long to go before NSW starts approaching that 70 per cent double dose figure and I ask everybody to please hold the line. It’s really important we work hard now so that when we do start opening up at 70 per cent we are able to do so safely and by bringing everyone together," she said.

Ms Berejiklian said the roadmap for when the state reaches the 80 per cent double dose target is being released this week.

 

Details will also be released this week on when unvaccinated people will be able to participate in greater activity. 

'Safe' to book for Christmas

The premier said the modelling on the peak in cases and hospital numbers from mid-September is unfolding as anticipated. 

"What we can't call is... We don't know if a super-spreader event will suddenly cause a surge in numbers again."

She said case numbers are declining in western and south-western Sydney but increasing in places like the Central Coast and the Illawarra. 

Although the roadmap for re-opening at 80 per cent vaccine coverage has not been released yet, Ms Berejiklian said NSW residents should feel confident about booking domestic travel plans within the state for Christmas.

"Look at November as a month where you can start planning a trip that you may not have been able to have for a very long time.

"The government's principle is that we move forward together as much as possible. So we want to see all of Greater Sydney open up at the same time. We want to see Greater Sydney and the regions be accessible at the same time. So we don't want to single out any communities."

Concern over people dying at home undiagnosed with the virus 

Of the 11 deaths on Saturday, three occurred in the home with no official diagnosis of COVID-19 until after their bodies were examined.

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said these incidents were yet another reminder to seek help if your health deteriorates rapidly, and that authorities would prefer "false alarms" than seeing more people pass away like this.

Ms Berejiklian said authorities were currently working out what restrictions would look like for people who are unvaccinated residents and said plans would be announced this week:

"The fact that we have so quickly already reached 85 per cent demonstrates the vast majority of our citizens know how important this is. We will reopen to everybody when it is safe to do so, we’re going through the final touches of what our policy will be in that regard, and I am looking forward to sharing that with the community this week,' she said. 

"Can I strongly urge everybody to come forward and get vaccinated. If you don’t have a medical reason as to why you should not be vaccinated, please come forward, we know that if you want to live with COVID safely, keep our loved ones protected, the best way to do that is to have great coverage of vaccination and I urge everybody to do that."

Traces of COVID-19 have been detected in sewage samples in regional parts of NSW. 

"We have seen a number of sewage detections and regional areas with cases and we would like to call out those areas and really encourage people in those towns to come forward for testing, even with the mildest of symptoms," Dr McAnulty said. 

"Musselburgh, in the Hunter Valley, Grafton, Grafton North and south sewage systems have tested positive, and Wardell and Barrett have a number of positive sewage tests on the far west corner of the Southern Highlands."

There were currently 1,146 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms, 117 requiring ventilation.


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Published 26 September 2021 at 11:04am, updated 26 September 2021 at 12:26pm
By Peter Theodosiou
Source: SBS News