NSW residents called for safe opening as the state registers 646 new local COVID-19 cases

NSW registers 646 new local cases

There have now been 414 deaths of COVID-19 since the onset of the outbreak in June, including nine men and two women in the last 24 hours.

About 856 people are in NSW hospitals with COVID-19 with 170 of them on intensive care and 75 on ventilators.

There was also concern about the increase in COVID-19 infections in the Hunter New England area with 97 cases reported there.

By midnight Wednesday, 89.4 percent of people 16 and older had received their first dose of a vaccine.

Concern over changes in the state roadmap

The Australian Medical Association of NSW said changes to the state’s plan to get out of the lockdown could overwhelm the hospital system and burn out healthcare professionals.

“Relaxing restrictions prematurely will not be a ‘popular’ decision if it means the number of people infecting the virus and ending up in hospital is skyrocketing,” said AMA NSW President Danielle McMullen.

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But Katherine Gibney of the Doherty Institute says that while the number of COVID cases will increase as restrictions loosen, it is inevitable to ease the exclusion.

“Hopefully, with high vaccination rates, we will be protected from the more serious disease and those that require hospitalization and the ICU, but we expect these to increase in the coming weeks and few months,” Gibney told ABC TV on Friday.

“It has to be done. We can not live in lockout indefinitely.”

Premier Domnic Perrottet on Thursday announced a revised strategy to reopen NSW after the state reached its 70 percent double-dose vaccination milestone.

Ten adult visitors are allowed to stay at home, 30 people can gather outdoors and 100 guests can attend weddings and funerals.

Indoor swimming pools will be able to open and all school students are back in the classroom by October 25th. All teachers must be fully vaccinated on the same date.

From Monday, people will be able to travel between Sydney, Shellharbour, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, but not into the regions.

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The United Workers Union, which represents many front-line workers and the public, is concerned that members are checking vaccination status in precarious situations.

The union wants the government to issue clear guidelines for the protection of workers facing the public, and sanctions for non-compliance as well as implementing a simple way to verify vaccination status.

The integrated Service NSW vaccine certificate or passport app is still not ready to be rolled out across the country. It is currently being tested with 500 people in regional NSW.

The restrictions will ease further when 80 per cent of the adult population is completely skewed, expected around October 25, when 3,000 people will be allowed to re-ticketed outdoor events and nightclubs, although dancing would not be allowed.

Masks will not be required in office buildings in an attempt to encourage workers back to Sydney’s CBD.

These relaxed restrictions only apply to fully vaccinated until 1 December, when they are set to be restored for the non-vaccinated.

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