NSW is rocked by pandemic record 15 deaths and 863 new Covid-19 cases

NSW is rocked by a pandemic record of 15 deaths and 863 new Covid-19 cases – as Gladys Berejiklian reveals the state will meet 90% of its first dose vaccination target next week


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NSW has registered 863 new cases of Covid-19 and a state pandemic – record 15 deaths from the virus overnight.

Nine of the state residents who died overnight had not been vaccinated, while five had received only one vaccine dose.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said 86.2 percent of the state’s population has now received their first vaccination dose, while 61.7 percent have been fully vaccinated.

She said she was confident NSW would hit 90 percent single dose by next week.

Counties of Byron, Tweed and Kempsey were released from lockdown overnight, reintroducing Byron into Queensland's border bubble (photo, freedom rally in Byron on September 18)

Counties of Byron, Tweed and Kempsey were released from lockdown overnight, reintroducing Byron into Queensland’s border bubble (photo, freedom rally in Byron on September 18)

The announcement came amid fears that Byron Shire could be sent back into lockdown just hours after it was released, after two new cases were identified that were contagious in the community.

The areas of Tweed, Byron and Kempsey were released from lockdown overnight, while Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook were reintroduced for at least a week.

But residents’ freedom in the Byron Shire is likely to be short-lived, with one case diagnosed in the Kyogle area and a second in Byron Bay, local MP Tamara Smith confirmed.

“Initial investigations indicate that both people were contagious 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 were lifted overnight, but in the cases, the Byron area is likely to be excluded again.

It comes as the deadline for health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least one dose of looms.

About 94 percent of NSW Health’s staff have been vaccinated, but staff have until Thursday, after which they will not be able to work.

But two new cases have surfaced in Byron Bay and the Kyogle area, with the area at risk of being resealed (photo, Byron Bay)

But two new cases have surfaced in Byron Bay and the Kyogle area, with the area at risk of being resealed (photo, Byron Bay)

But two new cases have surfaced in Byron Bay and the Kyogle area, with the area at risk of being resealed (photo, Byron Bay)

Unvaccinated people in the wider NSW community are also warned that they are likely to miss out on certain freedoms and activities after December.

NSW is set to come out of lockdown in a fortnight after nearly four months of stay-at-home orders for large parts of the state.

In December, public health regulations will no longer prevent unvaccinated customers from mixing, but Health Minister Brad Hazzard said business owners can still deny them entry.

And those who refused the jab would likely be banned from most hospitality and entertainment venues, as well as air travel, he said.

The NSW government has also warned that unvaccinated members of society will miss out on certain freedoms and activities after December (photo, freedom rally in Byron Bay on September 18)

The NSW government has also warned that unvaccinated members of society will miss out on certain freedoms and activities after December (photo, freedom rally in Byron Bay on September 18)

The NSW government has also warned that unvaccinated members of society will miss out on certain freedoms and activities after December (photo, freedom rally in Byron Bay on September 18)

The social distancing of catering establishments and hairdressers will begin from October 11, with a 70 percent vaccination rate.

About two weeks later, the state is expected to reach 80 percent coverage, leading to additional freedoms and the resumption of regional travel.

These freedoms are only restored for fully vaccinated people.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says officers will not routinely stop people and ask for their vaccination passports, but will be available to assist business owners who refuse service to anyone.

NSW is set to come out of lockdown in a fortnight after nearly four months of stay-at-home orders across large parts of the state (pictured, a man is arrested at the Byron Bay freedom rally)

NSW is set to come out of lockdown in a fortnight after nearly four months of stay-at-home orders across large parts of the state (pictured, a man is arrested at the Byron Bay freedom rally)

NSW is set to come out of lockdown in a fortnight after nearly four months of stay-at-home orders across large parts of the state (pictured, a man is arrested at the Byron Bay freedom rally)

NSW reported 863 new local cases of coronavirus — among Victoria’s 867 daily infections — and seven deaths on Tuesday.

Of the seven people who died, one person was in his forties, one in his fifties, two in his seventies, two in his eighties, and one in his nineties.

It brings the toll for the current outbreak at 316.

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