Covid NSW: Superspreader warning as major vaccine goal nears

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People have been warned to respect Covid restrictions ahead of the NRL grand final to prevent superspreading events ahead of NSW's highly anticipated freedom day.

The state's Health Minister Brad Hazzard made the plea on Sunday as he announced NSW recorded 667 local new cases. 

Cases have not been in the 600s since August 20 when the state recorded 644 infections.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard arrives to speak to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Sunday, October 3, 2021. Source: AAP
Brad Hazzard has announced NSW recorded 667 new local cases. Source: AAP

Sadly 10 people have died from the virus in the 24-hour period to 8pm on Saturday, which is the state's reporting period.

Mr Hazzard also confirmed NSW would likely reach its 70 per cent double-dose vaccine goal by mid-week ahead of October 11's so-called freedom day.

"It's a really big day for all of us who have lived through the agony of this pandemic. None of us can wait, we're all desperate to get to that point," he said on Sunday.

"We'll be able to get back to cafes and to restaurants and pubs. We'll be able to gather with our friends and our family, but in a safe way.

"There will still be rules around that, which are rules set to keep us all safe." 

On Saturday, the state reported 813 Covid infections and another 10 deaths, the day after Gladys Berejiklian sensationally quit as NSW Premier.

Mr Hazzard said the resignation of Ms Berejiklian did not change the roadmap out of lockdown for NSW.

"She has been absolutely critical to the team," he said.

"But that doesn't mean the health team and the rest of the government won't continue to do what we need to do."

Sunday's Covid deaths in NSW

Of the 10 people who died from the virus, six were women and the other four were men.

Two people were in their 50s, four people were in their 60s, two people were in their 70s and two people were in their 80s.

Three people were from south western Sydney, three people were from western Sydney, one person was from south eastern Sydney, one person was from the Eastern Suburbs, one person was from the Wollongong area and one person was from the Nepean Blue Mountains area.

Four people were not vaccinated, four people had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and two people had received two doses of the vaccine.

The two people who had received two doses both acquired their infections in aged-care facilities.

A man in his 80s from western Sydney who died at Auburn Hospital acquired his infection at Hardi Aged Care Facility in Guildford. This is the fifth death linked to this outbreak.

A woman in her 80s from western Sydney who died at Campbelltown Hospital acquired her infection at Northcourt Aged Care Facility in North Paramatta. This is the first death linked to this outbreak.

A woman in her 60s from western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital. Her infection is associated with Mount Druitt Hospital. This is the second death linked to this outbreak.

Two people died at home. A man in his 60s from the Wollongong area was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions. 

A woman in her 50s from the Eastern Suburbs had received one dose of the vaccine. She tested positive to Covid following her death.

Concerns continue over regional NSW areas

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has urged for testing rates to increase and remain high as the state navigates the "next critical week".

"We want to find any cases in the community so we can take that public health action and prevent further transmission," she said.

"Before we open up, we do want to see those case numbers as low as possible."

Dr Chant said even though it was "pleasing" to see a decline in cases in a number of areas in metropolitan Sydney, authorities were seeing an increasing trend in infections in regional NSW.

Suburbs of concern in Sydney, NSW

  • Greenacre

  • Bankstown

  • Bidwill

  • Guildford

  • Yagoona

  • Bonnells Bay

  • Hurstville

  • Ingleburn

  • Woollongong

  • Newcastle

  • Maitland

  • Wellington

  • Oberon

  • Deniliquin

Dr Chant said there were also a number of other rural and regional areas they were seeing "seeding" and increasing cases.

Four children in ICU

During Sunday's press conference, Mr Hazzard confirmed four of the almost 200 people in intensive care with the virus are aged 19 or under. 

Mr Hazzard said a child aged between zero and nine was in ICU as were three people aged between ten and 19.

He also warned people to "be careful" and respect restrictions while enjoying the NRL grand final to prevent superspreader events.

"You shouldn't be having people at home," he told reporters on Sunday.

"Your home remains one of the most dangerous places to be in terms of transmission of the virus."

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