NSW records 623 COVID cases, six deaths

·3-min read

NSW has recorded 623 new local cases of COVID-19, the lowest daily case number for the state since late August and the third day in a row below the 700 mark.

Another six people have died, bringing the toll for the current outbreak to 378.

Of those, four were not vaccinated, one had received a first dose, and one woman aged in her 90s was fully vaccinated.

There are currently 959 people in hospital with coronavirus, with 193 in intensive care, and 97 people on ventilators.

It's hoped the lower case numbers are a sign the current outbreak is diminishing, with restrictions scheduled to ease next Monday.

But health authorities are tracing cases across much of regional NSW.

Fresh exposure sites have been listed for the towns of Bermagui, Cooma, Jindabyne, Queanbeyan and Thredbo.

Health authorities have also issued stay-at-home orders for the Lismore local government area, in place until October 11, for anyone who has been in the LGA since September 28.

Gunnedah is also going into lockdown for a week from midnight, after five new cases in the area were detected. Anyone who has been in the local government area since September 27 must also isolate.

But NSW Health has announced lockdown will end in Cowra from Tuesday morning.

While Port Macquarie will also be freed from lockdown from Wednesday morning, nearby Forster, Tuncurry and Taree will be returned to stay-at-home orders from midnight.

Another three cases were reported in the mid-north coast on Sunday, and the source of two cases in the Kempsey LGA is being investigated.

A third case is linked to an infection diagnosed in Port Macquarie last week.

Casino is also in lockdown, with stay-at-home orders applicable to anyone who has visited the northern NSW town since September 24.

Dr Jeremy McAnulty from NSW Health reminded people that social gatherings are still not permitted inside homes.

"This long weekend, it's been particularly big for fans of NRL... but we need to make sure that we're all protecting our communities," he said on Monday.

The warning comes as homes and hospitality businesses hope to once again welcome visitors in about a week's time as the state nears its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target.

Under new rules to come into effect on October 11, vaccinated and unvaccinated people will have different isolation times if they are a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

Businesses will be responsible for taking "reasonable measures to stop unvaccinated people entering premises" such as having prominent signs, QR code requirements and only accepting valid proof of vaccination.

Hospitality, retail, gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons will be monitored by authorised officers and on-the-spot fines of $1000 will apply to individuals who do not comply or use fraudulent vaccination records.

Businesses may be fined $5000 for breaching the rules.

Across the state, 88.4 per cent of people aged 16 and over had received a first vaccine, and 67.1 per cent were fully vaccinated as of midnight on Saturday.

Another 76,892 COVID tests were carried out on Sunday, with 13,045 vaccines administered in state-run hubs in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

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