COVID-19 Update – 1,654 new cases in western Sydney, NSW testing capacity under pressure – Wednesday, 29 December 2021

To Monday 27 December 2021 across NSW, 95 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 13,582,491 with 4,342,392 administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 9,240,099 administered by the GP network, pharmacies and other providers to 11.59pm on Monday 27 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 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.

Case update

Sadly, NSW Health is today reporting the death of three people with COVID-19.

Two women, one woman in her 70s and one woman in her 90s, died at the Warabrook Aged Care facility in Newcastle where they acquired their infections. The woman in her 90s had received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions. The woman in her 70s had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

A man in his 80s from Sydney’s Inner West died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.

NSW Health expresses its sincere condolences to their loved ones.

There are currently 625 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 61 people in intensive care, 23 of whom require ventilation.

There were 157,758 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 93,581.

NSW recorded 11,201 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Of the 11,201 cases reported to 8pm last night, 2,181 are from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 1,855 are from South Western Sydney LHD, 1,744 are from Sydney LHD, 1,654 are from Western Sydney LHD, 1,359 are from Northern Sydney LHD, 775 are from Hunter New England LHD, 388 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 291 are from Central Coast LHD, 255 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 216 are from Northern NSW LHD, 91 are from Mid North Coast LHD, 73 are from Murrumbidgee LHD, 73 are from Western NSW LHD, 39 are from Southern NSW LHD, five are from Far West LHD, one is in a correctional setting, and 201 are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

Forty-eight COVID-19 cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 154,002.

Testing update

Testing capacity in NSW is currently under enormous pressure and the only people getting a PCR (nose and throat swab) should be those who have COVID-19 symptoms; live in a household with a confirmed COVID-19-positive case; or have been in a venue which NSW Health has advised there has been high transmission. 

This applies to people who are fully or partially vaccinated, as well as those not vaccinated.

NSW Health, in recent weeks, has changed its approach to contact tracing for the growing number of people in the community exposed to cases of COVID-19.

NSW Health is now prioritising households of cases and settings with vulnerable people where COVID-19 cases may have visited or worked.

People who have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases are asked to tell those they have recently spent time with that they have tested positive.

Most people who become aware that they been exposed to a person with COVID-19 will be advised of this by their friends, colleagues and social networks.  NSW Health will only contact with a small number of exposed people to direct them into self-isolation under the public health order.

Most people who have spent time with a person with COVID-19 in an indoor setting are advised to get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

When the negative test result is received, they can leave isolation. NSW Health asks that they continue to be aware of any developing COVID-19 symptoms.

If symptoms do later appear, people are asked to immediately seek a PCR test, and isolate until a negative test is received.

If you do not have symptoms, it is advised to take a rapid antigen test as an additional precaution before going out, particularly if socialising in groups of people or anywhere it may be difficult to socially distance. Information on how to use rapid antigen tests is available on the NSW Government website.

Around a quarter of people exposed to COVID-19 may still develop their infection after seven days. For the next seven days, they should exercise caution and avoid high-risk settings and large indoor gatherings, and 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.