• Tony Bosworth


Premier Gladys Berejiklian says this morning there has been a surge in COVID cases and she expects that to continue, and adds that September and October will be very challenging, but some freedoms may return if vaccination rates are high enough.

Of the new cases, 115 are linked to a known case or cluster – 97 are household contacts and 18 are close contacts - and the source of infection for 229 cases is under investigation

The Hawkesbury has seen two new cases revealed today. Hawkesbury Hospital has confirmed this morning a full-time female nurse has tested positive for COVID as has a patient at the hospital.

The unvaccinated employee was last at work on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 August and was not symptomatic during this time. She got tested immediately on receiving advice of a confirmed household contact and self-isolated while waiting for results. A patient from the ward where the nurse is known to have worked has also tested positive for COVID-19.

The second case is a health worker who tested COVID positive and who works at Richmond's Hawkesbury Living nursing home. All residents and staff who came into contact with him were tested Tuesday evening - he doesn't live in the Hawkesbury - and the first set of tests have all come back negative.

"If during September and October we have higher rates of vaccination there are opportunities for us to see what additional freedoms we give people," said the Premier.

"Does it mean we will live like before the outbreak? No, but what it does mean is that people will be able to do more than they can today."

"The Doherty report says if you want significant freedoms you need 70% of your population fully vaccinated, and we have made it clear from the outset that the NSW Government commends and supports the findings of the Doherty Institute and intend to implement policies in that regard," said the Premier.

If vaccination rates continue at the current rate, 70% of NSW residents should be fully vaccinated by October, said the Premier, and 80% by mid-November.

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