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NSW records 1,351 new cases of Covid-19
Two more regions plunged into lockdown
NSW's joint deadliest Covid day
NSW has recorded 1,351 new cases of Covid-19 and another 12 deaths as two more regions are plunged into lockdown.
The state has now lost 57 lives to Covid over the past seven days.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced Albury in the south and Lismore in the north of the state will enter lockdown from 6pm tonight.
"Health has made a decision that the period of lockdown initially will be seven days. The reason for that is to try and get a handle on what exactly is going on in the local areas," he said.
He added lockdown will currently last for seven days but could be extended. The two LGAs combined have a population of about 100,000 people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
NSW Health's Dr Marianne Gayle said two cases were detected in Albury but authorities do not know how they became infected.
"There are possible links to Sydney. However, that is under investigation by the local public health teams," she said.
Dr Gayle said the two cases are also unrelated to each other.
One case was detected in Lismore and Dr Gayle said the infection could also be linked to Sydney.
"We ask you to please monitor for symptoms, pay attention to the public health advice and come forward for testing promptly," Dr Gayle said.
Since Lismore is close to the border with Queensland, the lockdown could have implications on the NSW-Queensland border bubble.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said NSW will work with the cross-border commissioner to determine further action.
He also confirmed a case has been detected in Glen Innes in the Northern Tablelands.
But that case came through after the 8pm reporting period deadline on Tuesday. The Deputy Premier said the health department will asses what needs to be done.
"We'll do that in a measured way before a knee-jerk reaction about locking down an area," Mr Barilaro said.
Twelve LGAs will come out of lockdown from 1pm on Thursday including Bega Valley, Blayney, Borgan, Cabonne, Dungog, Forbes, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Parks, Singleton, Snowy Monaro and councils in the Upper Hunter.
"This is a good news days for regional and rural NSW," Mr Barilaro said.
NSW's joint deadliest Covid day
Mr Hazzard advised 12 people have died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours with the youngest in their 40s. Over the past seven days NSW has suffered 57 Covid deaths, its deadliest week of the pandemic.
"I want to express whenever we lose a family member or a friend, it impacts on every one of us," he said.
"And I want to express my condolences and I'm sure all of the condolences from NSW Health, the staff there care for each and every one of those people and my sympathies go to all of the family and friends of each of these people who have passed away."
Dr Gayle added "it's always really upsetting" to announce Covid deaths and offered her sympathies too.
She advised one woman in her 60s who'd had one dose of vaccine died at her home in southwest Sydney.
NSW has vaccinated 80.1 per cent of its residents 16 years and above with at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, Mr Hazzard said.
Residents in the coronavirus hotspot areas of southwest and western Sydney are being urged to come out in even greater numbers to be vaccinated, after a curfew on the area was lifted.
Vaccination numbers in the 12 local government areas of concern have been surging, but authorities want them to push even further.
"I urge you to be one of the most highly vaccinated populations in the state," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told hotspot residents on Wednesday.
"Yes, you've achieved 80 per cent in some of your local government areas. Yes, you've achieved 90 per cent in some.
"I'm challenging you to push even further."
More to come.
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