NSW records 1,029 new Covid-19 cases
Regional lockdown extended
Five fully vaccinated adults can gather after Sept 13
NSW has reached yet another grim Covid-19 milestone after announcing 1,029 new local cases on Thursday.
Three people have also died from the virus — one man in his 30s, one man in his 60s and one in his 80s, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. All three were unvaccinated.
Both the man aged in his 30s and the man in his 60s died in their homes, prompting NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant to urge people who are ill to seek medical care if their condition deteriorates.
"Although our system is clearly under stress, the best thing you can do is present early for care," she said.
Ms Berejiklian also announced regional NSW's lockdown will be extended until September 10, citing the number of cases in Dubbo and across western NSW.
Once again, she highlighted the western Sydney suburbs of concern.
"As you know, every day we talk about the suburbs in southwestern and Western Sydney that are areas of concern," she said.
"Now they comprise over 80 per cent of cases in those areas so the concentration of cases in those areas remains the case.
"We just ask everybody in those communities to adhere to the advice, please know that every time you leave your home, you should assume you have the virus, or somebody you're coming into contact with has the virus."
New lockdown freedom for fully vaccinated
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday that from September 13, up to five people - fully vaccinated adults or children - can gather outdoors, provided they are not from 12 council areas of concern.
For those in the 12 areas of concern, households with all adults vaccinated can gather outdoors for recreation, such as picnics. However, they may not do so with other households.
Dr Chant called the move – which was flagged for days by the premier – as "baby steps".
NSW hit its six million jab target earlier this week and the government's crisis cabinet met overnight to discuss easing restrictions.
Also looming are details of a plan to return students to school and how to conduct the HSC during the Covid-19 crisis.
Ms Berejiklian said further freedoms would be restored at 70 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage including the removal of family, industry, community and economic restrictions.
Children to soon join vaccine rollout
All children aged 12 to 15 will be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus with plans underway to expand the rollout, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
He said his cabinet's national security committee would consider how to widen the program.
"Twelve to 15-year-olds in Australia will be vaccinated," he said.
Mr Morrison said the decision was consistent with interim advice from the expert immunisation panel ATAGI, which will deliver its final findings on Friday.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.