“Again it shows we cannot be complacent with COVID and we need to take precautionary action and get vaccinated,” NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told reporters on Friday.
The death toll from the current outbreak is now 277. Of the 1,186 COVID-19 patients now in hospital, 232 cases are in the ICU.
Traces of COVID-19 has been detected in sewage samples from Lightning Ridge in western NSW, Jindabyne in the state’s south, Crookwell in the Southern Tablelands, and South Lismore in the state’s north.
No previous cases have been recorded in these areas.
New venues in regional NSW have also been added to the list of COVID-19 exposure sites, covering locations in Dubbo, Cowra, Shellharbour and Broken Hill.
Vaccination rates ‘through the roof’
As of midnight on Wednesday, 84.1 per cent of the over-16 population in NSW had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 56.6 per cent were fully vaccinated.
A third of children aged 12 to 15 have received their first dose of a vaccine, Ms Berejiklian also announced on Friday.
“We’ve seen the vaccination rates go through the roof,” she said.
The premier said planning around reopening continues as the vaccination coverage approaches the 70 and 80 per cent double dose.
“Everything we start doing, we look forward to doing at 70 and 80 per cent, must be done with a degree of caution and responsibility because otherwise too many people will end up in hospital,” she said.
Legal orders are being drafted to allow fully vaccinated people into hospitality venues on the Monday after the 70 per cent double dose target is reached.
Community sport and international travel are being considered at the 80 per cent dose target, depending on the daily case numbers and hospital case load.
“We consider what things will be like at 80 per cent imminently,” she said.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on Friday that, nationally, 50 per cent of adults are now fully vaccinated.
“Please keep coming forward to be vaccinated,” he in a tweet.
Since the national rollout commenced in February more than 26 million doses have been administered – just over two million in the last seven days alone.