Another 1259 new Covid-19 infections have been recorded in NSW, as the state hit a new vaccine milestone.
NSW has recorded 1259 new Covid cases and 12 deaths as the state hit another vaccine target.
The 12 people whole tragically died of Covid-19 included a woman in her 60s from Sydney’s southeast who died at home.
The others, seven women and five men, died in hospital and included in those numbers was a woman in her 30s from southwest Sydney.
Authorities delivered a stern warning to the state’s Covid-free regions after fragments of Covid-19 detected in the sewage treatment plant at Young were linked to a positive case.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant urged people in the regional area to remain vigilant.
“We’ve found it (sewage surveillance) reliable in giving us early warnings and we‘ve had sewage detections in Young,” Dr Chant said.
“I can report today that we have identified a person who spent time while infectious in Wagga Wagga, Young and Mudgee.
“I call upon all of those communities to be vigilant for symptoms.”
Sydney’s west and southwest still remain major areas of concern with 366 cases detected in Sydney’s southwest, 310 in western Sydney and 172 in inner Sydney.
Despite the high case numbers, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state remained on track to ease many restrictions when 70 per cent of the eligible population was fully vaccinated – a target expected to be hit on October 12.
“We know if this trend continues, once we open at 70 per cent double dose, that first dose rate will be high enough for us to feel confidence that we won’t overwhelm the hospital system and we’ll enjoy those freedoms” Gladys Berejiklian said.
As of Wednesday, 80 per cent of people in NSW have received at least their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Premier confirmed, prompting the 9am-5pm curfew in the state’s 12 LGAs of concern to be scrapped.
Though the Premier was clear that was the only restriction that would lift right now.
“We can’t move on anything else just now,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We need everybody to hold the line. Please make sure that if you live in those local government areas of concern that you stick to every other rule that‘s in place.
“It’s too early and too risky to do anything further today.”
If doses continue to be administered at the current rate, the final 80 per cent target will be hit before the end of next month.
About 47.5 per cent of the adult population is currently fully vaccinated.
The Premier also vowed NSW would be the first state to open up, given the population is likely to hit the 80 per cent double dose target first.
But she said that didn’t mean state borders would open up just yet.
“I’m sure other states can’t put their borders down until they all hit 80 per cent so we’re going through all those issues,” she said.
“These are challenging times and what we can do is provide as much certainty as early on as possible.”
With just weeks until the state is set for its major reopening, it remains unclear whether businesses who accept unvaccinated customers, when the state opens up at 70 per cent, would be punished.
The Premier said authorities were working through compliance issues.
“We appreciate that many small businesses have been hanging on by a thread. It’s got to be a good balance between ensuring everybody is doing the right thing but also making sure that people don’t cut corners because it only takes a handful of businesses or individuals to do the wrong thing and it puts our plans in jeopardy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Though she noted that she expected all staff and workers would be vaccinated.
“We’ve made that clear. All staff and all patrons at 70 per cent double dose will need to be fully vaccinated,” the Premier said.
“Imagine if 30 per cent of our adult population all got the virus, a large proportion got ill, our hospital system would be overrun.
“We’ve made this clear from the outset.”
Originally published as NSW records 1259 new Covid cases and 12 deaths as state hits vaccine milestone