COVID-19 transmitted in NSW bars and gyms

Hannah RyanAAP
"It's important that we all use masks when indoors," NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty says.
Camera Icon"It's important that we all use masks when indoors," NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty says. Credit: AAP

NSW has seen likely events of COVID-19 transmission in bars and gyms since the state opened up nearly two weeks ago.

NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty says the "likely transmission" in high-risk indoor venues is a reminder to maintain COVID-safe behaviour at all times.

"It's important that we all use masks when indoors," Dr McAnulty said in a video update on Saturday.

Even fully vaccinated people should come forward for testing if they experienced symptoms, he said.

Vaccination was "very effective" but not perfect, and breakthrough infections could still occur, Dr McAnulty warned.

The state recorded 332 new local COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, a slight dip on the previous day's numbers.

The number of people in hospital also dropped, to 469 from 482, with 123 people in intensive care.

Two people died, including a fully vaccinated man in his 60s who picked up his infection at an aged care facility in Albury, the second death linked to the facility.

With Halloween looming next weekend, Dr McAnulty advised on how to celebrate in a COVID-safe way.

Keep the celebration outdoors, go for treats that are packaged and do not use a communal lolly bowl, he said.

Families should also stick to their local neighbourhoods for trick-or-treating and be careful not to share costume masks.

The Hunter New England area continues to see a surge in cases, with that local health district recording more infections than any other in the latest reporting period.

Some 78 cases were diagnosed there, with 69 in the southwestern Sydney local health district, 37 each in the western Sydney and Murrumbidgee local health districts, and 22 on the mid-north coast.

Some 93.0 per cent of NSW residents aged over 16 had received their first dose of the vaccine by Friday, with 84.4 per cent fully vaccinated.

Vaccination rates among 12- to-15-year-olds are catching up: 77.59 per cent have received one dose, and 48.83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the NSW government on Saturday announced a $25 million support package for community sport, which has languished amid months of lockdowns.

"Community sport is the heart and soul of our state," said Premier Dominic Perrottet, shortly before joining Sports Minister Natalie Ward and Treasurer Matt Kean to shoot some hoops on a Thornleigh basketball court.

"We know that community sport has gone through a very difficult time ... but we're open again. We're open for business, we're open for sport."

Some 10,000 sporting organisations can apply for $1000 grants from a $12.5 million pool to help them get back on their feet and get children on the court.

In the western and southwest Sydney local government areas that were subject to heightened restrictions, as well as regional NSW, $3.1 million will support participation initiatives for kids in sport.

More than 100 peak sporting bodies are also eligible for $7.8 million in funding.

Young sportspeople from the regions gearing up for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics will also have the benefit of a $600,000 fund.

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