New South Wales has recorded 863 new cases of COVID-19 and seven new deaths in the past 24 hours.
Tweed and Byron Shires will be released from lockdown at midnight tonight, however health authorities are concerned about rising case numbers in Muswellbrook, Kempsey and Port Macquarie and have flagged potential heightened restrictions.
As of today NSW has hit a full vaccination rate of 60.4 per cent, just 10 per cent away from the state’s “Freedom Day”, anticipated to be on October 11.
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Health Minister Brad Hazzard said vaccinations were the “way out of this”.
“You’re kidding yourself if you think you don’t need to get vaccinated, because it may well be you that gets the virus and dies, or ends up in a hospital ICU.
“It may be you that passes on the virus to your family or your friends and see the responsibility then fall upon your shoulders for the death of one of your close friends or family.”
Mr Hazzard also criticised people who have delayed getting a vaccine because they were waiting for a particular type.
“There’s been a little bit of pickiness and choosiness,” he said.
“When you’re going to have your flu shot, you don’t ask what brand it is. We never have.
“Go and have the vaccine that’s available because whatever vaccine is available is the best one to keep you safe.”
Today’s results come from more than 132,000 tests and takes the state’s total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic to more than 60,000
Byron, Tweed Shires to exit lockdown as planned
Byron and Tweed Shires will be coming out of lockdown as planned, after seven days of stay-at-home restrictions.
There were no further cases of concern after an infected woman came from Sydney in preparation for the filming of reality show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.
But Mr Brad Hazzard flagged that there may be further restrictions introduced in the areas of Muswellbrook, Kempsey and Port Macquarie.
“I’m putting the community on notice that there may be a further announcement today in regard to all three of those areas or any one of those three areas,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We just need to make some final decisions on that.”
South-west Sydney, Mid North Coast remain ‘areas of concern’
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale listed the suburbs of Auburn, Punchbowl, Greenacre, Guildford, Bankstown, Penrith, Merrylands, and Blacktown as areas of concern.
She also urged residents of Wellington in western NSW to be vigilant for symptoms and to come forward for testing and vaccinations.
“We are watching and looking at the situation very carefully in Port Macquarie, Muswellbrook and Kempsey,” Dr Gale said.
“In all of those areas, we have had an increase in local cases and people who have been infectious in the community, so we are currently looking carefully at those situations and we’ll be providing recommendations.”