NSW Covid outbreak death toll passes 360 as end to ACT lockdown tested | New South Wales


New South Wales has reported 813 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths, while a further 52 cases have been reported in the ACT.

NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said 87.7% of people aged 16 years and over had now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 65.2% of the state was fully inoculated.

“Thank you so much for coming forward to get vaccinated to protect yourself, your family and your communities,” McAnulty said on Saturday.

There are currently 1,005 Covid-19 patients in hospital in NSW, with 212 in intensive care units and 99 on ventilators. Of the 10 deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, four people were not vaccinated and five people had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

One man, who acquired his infection at Mount Druitt hospital had received two doses. He had underlying health conditions. The deaths take the toll for the current NSW outbreak to 362.

NSW Health on Saturday said it had detected virus fragments in sewage at Dareton in the far west, Dungog in the Hunter, Karuah on the mid coast, South Grafton in northern NSW and Bermagui on the south coast.

The town of Casino was placed into lockdown from midnight on Friday until 11 October when the rest of the state will begin reopening gradually. The stay-at-home order applies to anyone who has been in Casino since 24 September.

Non-urgent day surgery will recommence in NSW private health facilities on Tuesday but non-urgent surgery at NSW public hospitals will remain postponed.

“This is to ensure we retain adequate system capacity, as well as patient, staff and public safety, for the delivery of healthcare services during the Covid-19 response,” NSW Health said on Friday.

The ACT’s total case count now stands at 939, of which 617 have recovered and 319 are active.

ACT health chief Dr Kerryn Coleman said 30 of the new infections could be linked to existing cases. Ten of them were in quarantine, the status of 13 are under investigation and 29 are known to have been in community for at least part of their infectious period.

Thirteen Covid-19 patients are in Canberra hospitals. Three of them are in intensive care and all three currently require respiration.

The ACT chief minister, Andrew Barr, said plans to end the ACT’s lockdown as scheduled in a fortnight’s time would depend on Coleman’s advice.

No one was walking away from the commitment to reopen, he said. However he continued to be concerned about the high case numbers and the high numbers also being recorded in neighbouring Queanbeyan.

“Our vaccination rates are a really significant way in which we can protect our community,” he told reporters on Saturday.

Almost 92% of ACT residents have now received at least one vaccine dose, while 63% have had both jabs. More than 3,240 virus tests were conducted in the ACT on Friday.

Coleman said on Friday she hoped the ACT would not need to deviate from its mid-October reopening plan.

“All of that will play into next week’s discussions,” she said. “My aim is to leave the settings as we have announced moving forward.”

The ACT on Friday relaxed restrictions slightly, including allowing two visitors to a home.

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