Australia NSW records 207 COVID-19 cases; Liverpool man becomes 15th death from outbreak

08:06  02 august  2021
08:06  02 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Police and ADF are conducting checks in south-west Sydney. (ABC News: Rani Hayman) © Provided by ABC News Police and ADF are conducting checks in south-west Sydney. (ABC News: Rani Hayman)

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says diverting vaccines from regional NSW to give to year 12 students in Sydney is "in the best interests of public health".

NSW today recorded 207 new local COVID-19 cases and the 15th death from the Delta outbreak which started in June.

Fifty-one cases were infectious in the community, 21 were in the community for part of their infectious period., while the isolation status of 46 cases remains under investigation.

Ms Berejiklian bristled at a question suggesting vaccines were being diverted from Labor strongholds on the Central Coast and being sent to Greater Sydney to vaccinate year 12 students.

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"That question offends me," she said.

"We are doing what is in the best interest of public health. Can I stress how important it is for us to get year 12 students able to complete their HSC exams and make sure that they have those qualifications they have worked hard for.

"There are 8 million citizens in NSW and we are all making a sacrifice." 

Ms Berejiklian said while the aim was to get to an 80 per cent vaccination rate, once vaccination got to 50 per cent, "you can look to provide easing of restrictions".

But she stressed that also depended on where case numbers were at.

"The priority is getting people back to work and back to school," she said.

Ms Berejiklian said schemes to encourage people to get vaccinated were "on the table".

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"We are amenable to those things because we appreciate when people have a goal, when people have something to look forward to, they are more likely to do something, and that is human nature," she said.

But she said the current focus was on getting getting to a higher vaccination rate "before we can have those conversations". 

Chief health officer Kerry Chant offered her condolences to the family of a man in his 90s from Sydney's south west, who died yesterday in Liverpool Hospital.

The man's death is linked to an outbreak of 27 cases at Liverpool Hospital and he is the 15th fatality during the current outbreak.

He had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in April.

Ms Berejiklian again urged people to get vaccinated in high numbers during August and stressed that the vaccines were "working extremely effectively".

"We still don't know of anybody in intensive care who has received both doses of the vaccine," she said.

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"That is a positive thing. We know the vaccine is working and we need people to come forward and get vaccinated."

The Premier said efforts would focus over the next two weeks on essential workers in the eight affected local government areas and people aged between 20-40 years old.

Of the new cases, 105 are linked to a known case or cluster, while 92 are household contacts and 13 are close contacts.

The source of infection for 102 cases is still being investigated.

Four of the new cases were residents of the Wyoming residential aged care facility in Summer Hill in Sydney's inner west.

This brings the total linked to the nursing home to 18 patients and two staff members.

Dr Chant said the positive residents had been removed from the facility and the remainder of residents on the top floor were also being sent to hospital as a precaution.

Dr Chant said a number of other facilities had been affected after a Wyoming nurse worked across a number of other aged care centres.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the infections were the result of a "super spreading event" in the facility.

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"Sometimes it is not a good idea to have a Christmas in July right in the middle of a pandemic," he said.

"But I do understand that it is an effort to try and provide entertainment and to support to residents and those things have to be decided by the aged care facilities."

Mr Hazzard said of the centre's 61 residents, 50 had been vaccinated, while 10 had declined for various reasons, including medical issues.

"It is a strong message though to everybody that you should get vaccinated because out of those 10, who for various reasons refuse to be vaccinated, seven are positive.

"Go and get vaccinated." 

Two primary schools in Sydney's inner west and north west are closed due to positive COVID-19 cases.

Students and teachers at Strathfield South Public School in Sydney's inner west were told to self-isolate yesterday until further notice.

St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School in Castle Hill is also closed today after a person at the Out-of-School Hours Care service tested positive.

Australian Defence Force personnel joined NSW Police over the weekend to conduct checks across the eight affected LGAs.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said more than 1,000 checks had so far been conducted and would be "ramped up" until they were no longer needed.

A record of 117,009 people came forward for testing, compared with the previous day's total of 105,963.

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Australia struggles under Delta load as new COVID lockdowns mean majority of Australia at home again .
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This is interesting!