COVID-19 Update – Masks now compulsory indoors as NSW records 5,612 new cases – Friday, 24 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, 81.6 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.3 per cent have received two doses.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 13,483,640 with 4,320,775 doses administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 9,162,865 administered by the GP network, pharmacies and other providers to 11.59pm on Wednesday 22 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.

Masks are now compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including for hospitality staff and in offices, unless eating or drinking.

From Monday 27 December 2021, QR code check ins will be compulsory. Hospitality venues including pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes will move to 1 person per 2 square metre rules indoors. There will be no density limits for outdoor settings. All settings will remain in place until Thursday, 27 January 2022 – read more here.

5,612 cases, 780 from western Sydney

Sadly, NSW Health is reporting the death of a woman in her 90s from south western Sydney who died at St George Hospital. She was a resident of the St Basil’s Aged Care facility in Lakemba, where she acquired her infection. She had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

There are currently 382 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 53 people in intensive care, 12 of whom require ventilation.

There were 164,144 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 160,471.

NSW recorded 5,612 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Thirty-four COVID-19 cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 117,885.

Of the 5,612 cases reported to 8pm last night, 1,218 are from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 862 are from Sydney LHD, 780 are from Western Sydney LHD, 641 are from Northern Sydney LHD, 605 are from South Western Sydney LHD, 592 are from Hunter New England LHD, 175 are from Central Coast LHD, 170 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 133 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 112 are from Northern NSW LHD, 88 are from Mid North Coast LHD, 45 are from Murrumbidgee LHD, 37 are from Western NSW LHD, 17 are from Southern NSW LHD, seven are from Far West NSW LHD, one is in a correctional setting and 129 are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

Be COVID safe and get tested

NSW Health reminds the public if they receive a notification from a QR code check in, they only need to get a PCR test if they feel unwell or are directed by NSW Health to do so. If you do not have symptoms, consider using a rapid antigen test before going out.

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.

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.

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.