NSW records 406 COVID cases as state remains on track for 80 per cent vaccination target

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New South Wales has continued to record hundreds of new COVID-19 cases per day but remains on track to hit the next vaccination target before the week’s end.

On Thursday morning, NSW Health confirmed six further deaths and 406 new locally acquired coronavirus cases had been recorded to 8pm on Wednesday from 85,133 tests. More details are expected at 11am.

There are currently 711 patients being treated for COVID-19 in NSW hospitals, 143 of which are in ICU.

91.1 per cent of residents aged 16 or over have now received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 76.5 per cent are now fully vaccinated – an increase of 1.3 per cent from Wednesday.

The state is expected to reach 80 per cent vaccination coverage as soon as Sunday, a week earlier than expected and just days into the first stage of the reopening which began Monday.

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That will set the stage for the next phase in the state’s exit from lockdown, which wasn’t due to begin until October 25.

Premier Dominic Perrottet on Wednesday said the pace of vaccination across the state was unexpected but “great”.

However, the premier hinted parts of the state’s roadmap out of lockdown could be tweaked.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Credit: JOEL CARRETT/AAPIMAGE

The government’s COVID-19 and economic recovery committee – formerly known as the crisis cabinet – will on Thursday discuss postponing regional travel given the lower vaccination coverage in rural communities.

As things currently stand, the next phase of the roadmap paves the way for outdoor gatherings of up to 50 vaccinated people, 20 guests in a home, dancing at hospitality venues and drinking standing up at the pub.

Travel across NSW would be allowed, as would carpooling, weddings of any size if the venue is large enough, and community sport.

– with AAP

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