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NSW records 919 local Covid cases
Vaccination rate the most important number
'Of course there is' pressure on hospitals, premier says
NSW has recorded a huge jump in new Covid-19 cases, with 919 local infections recorded in the 24 hours up until 8pm on Tuesday night.
A man in his 80s with underlying conditions has died from Covid, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
A 30-year-old mum of three died at her southwest Sydney home just days after testing positive is also included in today's death toll.
Of the 919 new cases, only 178 are linked to a known case or cluster. The sources of infection for 741 mystery cases are under investigation.
Just as worrying is the possibility that 758 cases were out in the community when infectious. Their isolation status is under review.
One hundred and six cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 18 were in isolation for part of their infectious period, NSW Health said.
"The suburbs of concern in Greater Sydney and Western Sydney remain Guildford, Auburn, Merrylands, Greystanes, Granville, Punchbowl, Yagoona, Blacktown and surrounding suburbs," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We urge everyone in those communities to stay home. Please assume you or somebody you have come into contact with has the virus."
She urged under-40s in the local government areas of concern to get vaccinated.
The premier said that 6.1 million people have now received a Covid vaccine and almost one-third of the state's population is fully-vaccinated.
She has previously said she will announce "at least one" freedom for fully vaccinated residents under the state-wide Covid-19 lockdown by the end of the week.
Vaccination rate more important than case numbers, premier says
When asked if she was concerned about the record high of daily cases, Ms Berejiklian appeared to downplay their importance.
"We have made the point that the most important figure moving forward is the rate of vaccination," she said.
The premier also defended the state's health system and insisted it is not overrun as Sydney continues to battle its surging Delta outbreak.
"We can't pretend there isn't going to be pressure on the system – of course there is. That is ongoing, but everybody who needs medical attention will receive it," she said.
Lung specialist Lucy Morgan, who works with Covid patients at Concord and Nepean hospitals, also spoke during the presser to encourage viewers to get vaccinated.
“The biggest message today is get vaccinated. Think about getting vaccinated today. The Delta strain of Covid-19 is incredibly infectious. The particles get into our bodies with a tiny subcontract.”
Staff 'exposed' as hospitals struggle with Covid
NSW’s health system has been criticised for being “shockingly unprepared” after images of overflowing bins and paramedics huddling for warmth outside hospitals were published on Twitter overnight.
Despite an outcry from staff and the NSW union for paramedics, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Wednesday that he is "confident we have maybe a [health] system that is under pressure but a system that works."
"There is no question that the health system is working under pressure," he said.
"I want to assure the community that we have been working as a health system on this since January and February last year and ensuring we have stepped up the number of available ICU beds, and staff working in those intensive care units, ventilators."
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