COVID-19 Update – People urged to be COVID safe as NSW records 5,715 new cases – Thursday, 23 December 2021

Across NSW, 94.9 per cent of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 93.5 per cent have received two doses.

Of the people aged 12 to 15, 81.5 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.2 per cent have received two doses.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 13,425,174 with 4,307,728 doses administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 9,117,446 administered by the GP network, pharmacies and other providers to 11.59pm on Tuesday 21 December 2021.

NSW Health encourages everyone who is eligible to book into a NSW Health vaccination clinic or another provider without delay through the COVID-19 vaccine clinic finder.

Everyone aged 18 years and older may now receive a booster five months after receiving their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. We urge people to get their booster dose as soon as they are eligible, to best protect yourself, your loved ones and the community from the ongoing transmission of COVID-19. If you are due for a booster over the Christmas/New Year period, you can have it a little earlier.

We also strongly recommend that people aged 12 years and over who are severely immunocompromised have a third primary dose of vaccine from two months after their second dose. Talk to your GP for more advice.

5,715 cases, 691 from western Sydney

Sadly, NSW Health is reporting the death of a man in his 40s from western Sydney who died at Westmead Hospital. He was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.

There are currently 347 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 45 people in intensive care, 13 of whom require ventilation.

There were 160,471 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 151,443.

NSW recorded 5,715 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Of the 5,715 cases reported to 8pm last night, 1,186 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, 976 are from Hunter New England Local Health District (LHD), 841 are from Sydney LHD, 704 are from South Western Sydney LHD, 691 are from Western Sydney LHD, 514 are from Northern Sydney LHD, 199 are from Central Coast LHD, 136 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 123 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 102 are from Northern NSW LHD, 65 are from Western NSW LHD, 59 are from Mid North Coast LHD, 23 are from Murrumbidgee LHD, 14 are from Southern NSW LHD, five are from Far West LHD, one is from a correctional setting and 76 are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

Twenty-nine COVID-19 cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 112,307.

Be COVID safe and get tested

NSW Health continues to remind everyone to practise COVID-safe behaviours, including recommending people wear a mask in settings where they cannot physically distance.

Around a quarter of people exposed to COVID-19 may still develop their infection after seven days. For the next seven days, close contacts should exercise caution and not enter a high-risk setting, should avoid large indoor gatherings, use a rapid antigen test if coming into contact with vulnerable people.

Get tested and stay home if you have the mildest of symptoms. Do not visit family, friends or go to social events if you are unwell. Wash and sanitise your hands regularly.

If you do not have symptoms, consider using a rapid antigen test before going out.

If you are directed to get tested for COVID‑19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the self-isolation rules.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result.

There are more than 450 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 clinics or contact your GP.