COVID-19 Update – 5,989 new cases in western Sydney, masks mandatory for return to work – Wednesday, 5 January 2022

To Monday 3 January across NSW, 95 per cent of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 93.6 per cent have received two doses.

Of the people aged 12 to 15, 81.4 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78 per cent have received two doses.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 13,740,876 with 4,393,159 administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 9,347,717 administered by the GP network, pharmacies and other providers to 11.59pm on Monday 3 January 2022.

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.

Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine are now available for people aged 18 and over. People aged 18 years and over are eligible for a booster if they had their second dose at least 4 months ago. We urge people to get their booster dose as soon as they are eligible, to best protect themselves, their loved ones and the community from the ongoing transmission of COVID-19. 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 reporting the deaths of eight people with COVID-19, six men and two women.

One person was in their 90s, two people were in their 80s, two people were in their 70s, two people were in their 60s, and one person was in their 50s.

Five people had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, two people were not vaccinated, and one person had received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A man in his 90s died at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital. He was a resident of the Coffs Harbour Grange Aged Care Facility. He had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A woman in her 80s died at Gosford Hospital where she acquired her infection. She had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A man in his 70s died at the Bupa Aged Care Facility in Ballina. He was not vaccinated.

NSW Health expresses its sincere condolences to their loved ones.

There are currently 1,491 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 119 people in intensive care, 32 of whom require ventilation.

There were 108,844 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 83,376.

NSW recorded 35,054 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Thirty-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 306,984.

Of the 35,054 cases reported to 8pm last night, 6,542 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 5,989 are from Western Sydney LHD, 5,710 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, 3,827 are from Sydney LHD, 3,667 are from Northern Sydney LHD, 2,961 are from Hunter New England LHD, 1,502 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 1,496 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, 588 are from Central Coast LHD, 576 are from Northern NSW LHD, 501 are from Western NSW LHD, 392 are from Mid North Coast LHD, 379 are from Murrumbidgee LHD, 345 are from Southern NSW LHD, 24 are from Far West LHD, eight are in correctional settings and 547 are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

As many of us prepare to return to work from holidays, NSW Health reminds everyone of the importance of mask wearing in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Masks are compulsory for those aged over 12 in all indoor non-residential settings, including in offices and for hospitality staff, unless you are eating or drinking.

Employers must allow an employee to work from home if it is reasonably practicable to do so. This will help minimise the number of people travelling to and from work and in the office.  If you cannot work from home and you go to your workplace, you must wear a face mask.

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 otherwise been advised by NSW Health to get tested.

Rapid antigen testing can be an additional precaution that you can take if you are planning to socialise with large groups of people, particularly indoors, or interacting with people who are elderly or have serious health conditions.  Information on how to use rapid antigen tests is available on the NSW Government website.

People are at risk of developing COVID-19 for 14 days after they were last in contact with a COVID-positive person, so it is important to take precautions during this time. While most people will become positive within the first week after exposure, around a quarter of people exposed to COVID-19 will develop their infection in the following seven days. If you have had a high-risk interaction with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to exercise caution and avoid high-risk settings and large indoor gatherings for 14 days after you last had contact with them.

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 it is still important that you have a test and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result.

There are 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.