NSW virus cases up, more schools closed

·2-min read

The number of new local COVID-19 cases in NSW has jumped by 45 as the premier acknowledged the frustration of parents who are once again home-schooling their children when schools close because of the virus.

On Thursday there were 17 NSW public schools closed - a common occurrence since they reopened last month after months of home schooling.

Most of the 270 schools closed in the past month have been primary schools, where the children are too young to be vaccinated.

Schools are forced to close for one to two days for cleaning and contact tracing if a member of the school community contracts the virus and children who are close contacts need to quarantine at home for 14 days.

Premier Dominic Perrottet was asked on Thursday about the widespread resumption of home schooling so soon after schools reopened.

"We will get those schools cleaned as quickly as possible and get those classrooms open again as quickly as possible to minimise inconvenience across the board," he told reporters.

"But where we can change policy and look at new ways of doing things we will."

Australia's medical regulators are considering data from Pfizer to approve a vaccine for children aged five to 11.

NSW recorded 261 new local COVID-19 cases and one death - an unvaccinated woman in her 60s with underlying health conditions from southwest Sydney who died at Sutherland Hospital on Wednesday.

There are 228 people with COVID in hospital - down seven on the previous day's tally - with 40 in ICU and 16 ventilated.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Marianne Gale noted that of the 40 in ICU, 27 were not vaccinated and seven had had one jab while six were fully vaccinated.

Some 90.4 per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated and 94 per cent of adults have had their first jab.

In the 12-15 age group, 80.3 per cent have had their first dose, and 71.1 per cent both.

"I'd like to encourage anyone who's had a first dose of the COVID vaccine that hasn't yet got their second dose please don't delay - two doses offer greater protection," Dr Gale said.

The Hunter New England Local Health District continues to record the highest number of cases with 60 new people diagnosed.

There were 49 new cases in South Western Sydney LHD, 35 from Sydney LHD and 30 from Murrumbidgee LHD, which covers towns on the Victorian border.

NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program detected fragments of the virus in West Wyalong, Bermagui, Cobar and Uralla, where there are no known or recent cases.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting