Covid NSW: Cases rise as lockdown extended for more than a million

·4-min read
  • 941 cases, six more deaths

  • A million in regional areas to remain in lockdown

  • Schools set to return a week early

More than a million people will remain in lockdown in regional LGAs as NSW records 941 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19.

Sadly, NSW Health reported six Covid related deaths on Thursday – four men and two women.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian teased easing some restrictions earlier than expected, as the state edges towards reaching 70 per cent of residents with two Covid-19 vaccinations. As of Thursday 62.9 per cent had received two doses.

People sit having picnics on Observatory Hill with the Harbour Bridge in the background.
NSW reported 941 Covid-19 cases on September 30. Source: AAP

"The government is considering bringing some things forward to 80 per cent double dose," she told reporters.

"They won't be major things but there will be tweaks. We'll announce that at 70 per cent double dose.

"There are a number of people in the community who have asked us to consider certain things and Health is considering those things, and if it's safe to do so we'll be able to resume some of those activities at 80 per cent as opposed to December 1."

Millions in regional LGAs to remain in lockdown

More than a million residents in regional LGAs will remain in lockdown until October 11, as stay-at-home orders are extended due to an ongoing Covid-19 public health risk.

Lockdown has been extended in the following LGAs until October 11:

  • Bathurst Regional

  • Bourke

  • Central Coast

  • City of Cessnock

  • Dubbo Regional

  • Eurobodalla

  • Goulburn Mulwaree

  • Kiama

  • City of Lake Macquarie

  • City of Lithgow

  • City of Maitland

  • City of Newcastle

  • Port Stephens

  • Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional

  • City of Shellharbour

  • City of Shoalhaven

  • Wingecarribee

  • City of Broken Hill

Aerial view of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
Aerial view of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Stay-at-home orders will be introduced for the Snowy Monaro LGA from 3pm Thursday for seven days, due to recent Covid transmissions. This will also apply to anyone who has been in the Snowy Monaro LGA since September 22.

Lockdown will be lifted on Friday for the Central Darling Shire Council, with the exceptions of Wilcannia and Menindee.

Lockdown will be lifted on Friday, October 1 for Mid-Western Regional, Hilltops and Walgett LGAs.

NSW government maintaining JobSaver

The state government will keep up its current contribution to the scheme until November 30.

State treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government wants to keep as "many people in work and as many businesses in business during this difficult time".

"We know that when we do open up at 70 per cent and 80 per cent there will be still some restrictions in place, that businesses will not be operating at full capacity, so by maintaining the New South Wales government's contribution to this program, it will allow many businesses the support they need as we move from response to recovery."

Schools set to return a week early

Schools will return to face-to-face learning a week earlier than anticipated.

"When we set the date for schools opening on 25 October, we did it for two reasons - firstly to provide certainty for parents and school communities and secondly to make sure we'd already surpassed that 70 per cent double dose figure," Ms Berejiklian said.

The Premier also said although there's not an exact figure of what percentage of teachers have been vaccinated, it's "well above" the state average. 

"We know, we know it's extremely high and by the time schools go back on the 18th there will be enough fully vaccinated teachers to make sure the school system proceeds, and also that there's enough time for the parents to plan as well."

She said advice would come later about what schools should do in the event of a Covid outbreak.

“We want to avoid disruption as much as possible but when all the teachers are vaccinated, a larger proportion of 12 to 15-year-olds are vaccinated, the outbreak protocols will change, the way in which we deal with cases at school and there'll be further advice in relation to that."

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