Deaths with NSW’s latest Covid outbreak exceed 500 people as the state records 294 new cases
More than 500 people have died from COVID-19 in the latest NSW outbreak, with the state recording 294 new locally acquired cases and four deaths as all student year groups return to face-to-face learning.
There have been 502 COVID-related deaths in NSW since the latest wave began on June 16.
Now 93 per cent of people 16 and over have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 84.8 per cent of adults are fully jabbed.
There are 474 COVID-19 patients in NSW hospitals, 116 of them in intensive care.
In the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm on Sunday there were 59,612 tests.
Kindergarten, year one and year 12 students went back to school in NSW last week and the remaining students have returned to classrooms on Monday.
Non-urgent elective surgery will also resume at public and private hospitals within Greater Sydney on Monday after being cancelled in August to stop hospitals from being overwhelmed as COVID-19 cases soared.
Overnight elective surgery will be capped at 75 per cent in public and private facilities but private facilities can exceed the cap if they are providing surgery for public patients.
There are no restrictions in regional hospitals providing overnight non-urgent elective surgery.
Jury trials will also resume in the District Court with COVID-19 safety precautions including a requirement for jurors to be fully vaccinated and practise social distancing.
Premier Dominic Perrottet admits there will be challenges as 810,000 students get back to school but is ‘very confident’ it will go well.
‘We’ve had a number of schools close but the alternative is to keep all schools closed,’ Mr Perrottet said on Sunday.
‘We’re not doing that.’
On Sunday night, NSW Education announced 16 schools were closed for cleaning and contact tracing after positive COVID-19 tests in their communities.
Asked about reports up to 160 schools throughout NSW had staffing issues as students returned, Mr Perrottet said he was aware there would be some shortages.
‘There will always be teachers and people across our state who just decide not to get vaccinated,’ he said.
‘That’s their choice. We believe it’s a bad choice but ultimately that success rate of 95 per cent has helped us get our kids back in the classroom.’
All teachers are required to be fully vaccinated and vaccines are recommended for students 12 and older.
Masks are compulsory for teachers and high school students and are strongly recommended for primary school students.