COVID-19 case numbers continue to fall in NSW, while vaccination rates climb ahead of Monday's reopening of regional travel to Sydneysiders.
NSW recorded 236 locally-acquired COVID-19 cases and three more deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.
One new case was acquired overseas, and 12 cases have been excluded following further investigation.
77,271 COVID-19 tests were reported to 8pm last night, compared to yesterday's total of 82,840.
IN THE NEWS:
Vaccination rates in NSW continue to climb ahead of Monday's reopening of regional travel to Sydneysiders.
Of those aged 16 or older 93.5 per cent have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 87 per cent are fully vaccinated.
In the 12-15 year old age group, 79 per cent have had their first dose, and 58.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 74,923.
Across NSW there are 343 people with COVID in hospital, with 81 people in intensive care, 33 of whom require ventilation.
Of the three deaths reported today, one man was in his 40s from Newcastle, one man was in his 60s from western Sydney and one man was in his 80s from south-western Sydney.
Two had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and one had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. All of the men had underlying health issues.
Of the 236 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm last night:
- 73 are from Hunter New England Local Health District (LHD)
- 33 are from Murrumbidgee LHD
- 24 are from South Western Sydney LHD
- 23 are from Sydney LHD
- 17 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD
- 15 are from Western Sydney LHD
- 13 are from Mid North Coast LHD
- eight are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
- seven are from Central Coast LHD
- five are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD
- five are from Western NSW LHD
- one is from Northern Sydney LHD
- one is from Southern NSW LHD
- one is from Northern NSW LHD
- two are in correctional settings
- and eight are yet to be assigned to an LHD
NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 in sewage samples collected from across NSW, including Leeton, Mullumbimby, Inverell and Uralla.
Everyone in these areas is urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms, and if they appear, to immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
If you haven't received a COVID-19 vaccination yet, please don't delay. Even if you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you should get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 patients in rural hospitals face an extended wait to be transferred to regional or metropolitan centres, according to the new president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia.
According to Dr Megan Belot, COVID patients in several states needing treatment in bigger hospitals are being transported by air, with the shorter trip reducing the infection risk for paramedics.
But very sick patients are waiting 24-48 hours for a flight. You can read more here.
- with Australian Associated Press