Coronavirus Australia: Record NSW virus deaths in NSW, 863 cases
NSW has reported a record 15 deaths from COVID-19 and announced fully vaccinated people will be able to visit loved ones in aged care homes within weeks, ending months of separation.
Some 863 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed across the state in the 24-hours until 8pm on Tuesday.
Among the deaths reported were two people in their 40s, two in their 50s, four in their 60s, three in their 70s, one in their 80s and three in their 90s.
One woman in her 70s from Bateman’s Bay was fully vaccinated and had received the second dose shortly before her death.
She is the first death in the state’s southeast since the pandemic began.
More than 86 per cent of NSW residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 61.7 per cent fully vaccinated.
With vaccination rates due to reach 70 per cent double dose coverage within weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced visits to aged care homes would be allowed from October 11.
“For those of you who haven’t been able to see a loved one for around three months, (from) Monday the 11th, so long as you are fully vaccinated, two at a time and two per day are able to visit a loved one in an aged care facility,“ she said on Wednesday.
“I am looking forward to seeing my parents in that week.”
Meanwhile, the Byron Shire could be sent back into lockdown only hours after it was released, after two people who were infectious in the community were identified.
The Tweed, Byron and Kempsey areas were freed from lockdown overnight, while stay-at-home orders were reintroduced in Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook for at least one week.
But the freedom of residents in the Byron Shire is likely to be short-lived, with one case diagnosed in the Kyogle area and a second case in Byron Bay, local MP Tamara Smith confirmed.
“Initial investigations indicate that both people had been infectious in the community, with contact tracing and investigations currently underway,” she said on Wednesday.
The Tweed and Byron areas were re-included in the Queensland border bubble when restrictions lifted overnight, but the cases will likely see the Byron area excluded again.
It comes as the deadline for health workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose looms.
Some 94 per cent of the NSW Health workforce is vaccinated, but staff have until Thursday, at which point they will be unable to work.
Unvaccinated people in the broader NSW community are also being warned they’ll likely be missing out on certain freedoms and activities beyond December.
NSW will emerge from lockdown in a fortnight after almost four months of stay- at-home orders for large parts of the state.
VICTORIA RECORDS 950 NEW COVID-19 CASES AND SEVEN DEATHS
Victoria has recorded 950 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and seven deaths.
It is the state’s highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic, surpassing the previous record of 867 cases on Tuesday.
The new infections bring the number of active cases in the state to 9890.
More information will be provided on the seven deaths later on Wednesday. It brings the toll from the current outbreak to 32.
There were 61,322 coronavirus tests processed and 34,028 vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs on Tuesday.
It comes as the Latrobe Valley region has been plunged into a seven-day lockdown to curb a growing COVID-19 outbreak believed to be linked to a household gathering.
Residents in the City of Latrobe, which encompasses the Gippsland towns of Moe, Morwell and Traralgon, entered lockdown at 11.59pm on Tuesday. They were notified via a press release about 6.30pm.
They are now living under the same restrictions as those in Melbourne, with the exception of curfew.
Health Minister Martin Foley said the illegal social gathering, held over the AFL grand final weekend, was “regrettable”.
There are at least 18 active COVID-19 cases in the region.
Almost 79 per cent of Victorians have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while more than 48 per cent are fully vaccinated.
A modest easing of rules has come into effect on Wednesday including extending metropolitan Melbourne’s travel limit to 15km and resumption of contactless sports such as tennis and golf.
In regional Victoria patron caps in venues will increase from 20 to 30, while masks will also not be required for some beauty services like facials and beard trimming.
Melbourne’s lockdown will remain in place until 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are double-vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.
A more significant easing of restrictions will occur when the 80 per cent double-dose target is met, forecast for November 5.
TWO NEW INFECTIONS ON THE GOLD COAST
Queensland has one new local case of COVID-19, as well as a second case involving a truck driver who tested positive in NSW but has been on the Gold Coast.
The new Queensland case is a close contact of the aviation training facility worker who tested positive on Monday night.
The man in his 50s lives at Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast and has been in the community while infectious. He is fully vaccinated.
The other case is being counted in the NSW tally because the infection was detected there.
It involves a truck driver who lives at Gaven on the Gold Coast.
He was active on the Gold Coast for three days, from September 25 to 27.
CANBERRA OUTBREAK SURPASSES 800 CASES
Canberra’s total outbreak has reached 804 COVID-19 cases as the national capital recorded 22 new infections overnight.
Of the 22 new cases, seven were in isolation for their entire infectious period, and at least seven were contagious out in the community.
Twelve of the transmissions have been linked to existing cases, but ten remain under investigation.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed ten Canberrans were now in hospital with COVID-19, including three people in intensive care on ventilators.
Mr Barr said the ACT and Commonwealth governments were finalising the details on an extended financial support package for Canberra businesses amid the territory’s protracted lockdown.
“I’m pleased to say (federal) Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and I have reached a principle agreement,’ he said.
“We will continue to finalise the fine details today with a joint announcement expected tomorrow.”
Canberra’s lockdown is currently set to end on October 15 when the territory will transition to “medium level” public health restrictions.
STATE-BY-STATE CASE BREAKDOWN
VIC - 950 new local cases, seven deaths
NSW - 863 new local cases, 15 deaths
QLD - Two new local cases
WA - TBA
ACT - 22 new local cases
NT - zero new loal cases
SA - no new local cases
TAS - no new local cases
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