Record Covid spike for NSW as premier reveals change to daily updates

·5-min read
  • 1542 Covid-19 cases, nine deaths

  • 76.4 per cent of adults have had first jab in NSW

  • Premier and ministers to stop appearing at daily update

NSW has announced its highest amount of daily Covid cases, as the state inches closer to reaching an 80 per cent first dose vaccination rate.

The state recorded 1542 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, with nine deaths, including victims in their 30s and 40s.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged people not to "drop their guard," with increased cases in the inner city. 

The nine deaths brings the total number of Covid related deaths to 162 in NSW since the start of the spread of the Delta variant on 16 June 2021, and 218 in total since the start of the pandemic.

People wearing face masks near Sydney Harbour Bridge. Source: AAP Image
NSW announced 1542 more Covid cases on Friday. Source: AAP Image

Ms Berejiklian also said from Monday 13 September, people across NSW who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed more freedoms.

For those who live outside the LGAs of concern, up to five fully vaccinated adults can engage in outdoor recreation in a person’s LGA or within 5km of home. Children under 12 will not be counted in this total.

For those who live in the LGAs of concern, a household with all adults vaccinated will be able to engage in outdoor recreation (including picnics) for up to two hours within the existing rules (outside of curfew hours and within 5km of home). This is in addition to the ability to engage in outdoor exercise.

Premier accused of going into 'hiding' after Covid update change

Ms Berejiklian also announced a major change to the daily Covid update, with the information to be delivered via video link from NSW Health representatives from Monday onwards.

"So the weekend, Sunday will be the last day we officially do a press conference in this way but from Monday at 11am, health will provide a daily health update and myself and Minister Hazzard or any other relevant minister will present to the community on a needs basis."

The premier was accused of going into "hiding" over the decision to not announce the daily Covid numbers.

"I will turn up when I need to but to expect the leader of the government indefinitely to do this every day means that I am not doing my job properly," she told reporters.

"I can assure the people of this state, and they can judge me on my record, whenever I need to speak directly to the public, I absolutely will.

"But we also have to make sure that as a government, we normalise the way we do things every day ... we also have to accept all of us have to start thinking about what living with Covid means."

Ms Berejiklian also said people need to "learn to live with Covid."

"What we need to do is all of us have to start accepting that we need to live with Covid because Covid would be around for three or four years."

Nine deaths recorded

A man in his 30s from the Blue Mountains was among the nine deaths recorded overnight, with the state's death total now at 162 in the latest outbreak.

Two men in their 60s from western Sydney died, as well as a woman in her 80s from western Sydney, a man in his 70s from Sydney’s southern suburbs and a man in his 70s from south-eastern Sydney.

A woman in her 50s from the Central Coast died at Gosford Hospital as well as a man in his 50s from south-western Sydney.

A woman in her 40s from south-western Sydney passed away at Liverpool Hospital.

All of these individuals had underlying health conditions

There are currently 1,156 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 207 people in intensive care, 89 of whom require ventilation.

New freedoms for fully vaccinated revealed

The NSW government revealed freedoms for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, which Ms Berejiklian says it in line with the Doherty Institute plan.

The premier said there will be no specific date for a reopening, insisting it will only come on the Monday after the 70 per cent double dose threshold is met.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the daily Covid press conference wearing a pink jacket.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a massive change to the daily Covid updates. Source: AAP

The changes will also apply to those in the 12 LGAs of concern.

Major changes include:

  • Five vaccinated visitors allowed into your home

  • 20 vaccinated people can gather outdoors

  • Hospitality venues will be able to open with a density limit of one person per four square metres

  • Density limits for outdoor hospitality settings will be at one person per two square metres outdoors

  • Patrons will be able to stand and drink while outside

  • Retail will reopen with density limits, with unvaccinated people only able to access critical retail

  • Gyms will reopen with one person per four square metres and classes of 20 can resume

  • Sporting facilities including pools to reopen

  • Stadiums and outdoor facilities to allow a maximum of 5,000 people in accordance with one person per four square metres

  • Up to 50 guests at weddings and funerals

  • Domestic travel, including to regional NSW, will be allowed

Unvaccinated people with medical exemptions will qualify for the freedoms, NSW Health said.

The premier said once 80 per cent of the state was fully vaccinated, even further freedoms would be granted such as the possibility of international travel.

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