NSW COVID cases grow by 864, 15 deaths recorded

NSW Health announced some cancelled elective surgeries would restart thanks to “declining community transmission of COVID-19 and increasing vaccination rates”.

From October 5, non-urgent day surgery at 19 private hospitals will recommence. Non-urgent elective surgery at the state’s public hospitals remains paused.

South-west and western Sydney continued to record the highest daily case numbers, following by Illawarra Shoalhaven, South East Sydney and the Hunter New England region.

There are currently 1055 COVID-19 cases in NSW hospitals, with 210 people in intensive care. Of those, 104 require ventilation.

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Newcastle maternity ward and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has grown to six parents.

A mother who was a patient at the John Hunter Hospital first tested positive on September 26.

The woman’s close and casual contacts on the maternity ward and the NICU, where her child is being cared for, were told to isolate. Since then, a further five parents have tested positive while in isolation.

The medical controller for Hunter New England Health, Dr Paul Craven, said the babies in the NICU were considered to be low-risk for exposure and all have so far tested negative.

“The babies continue to receive high-quality care from our dedicated nursing staff and neonatologists,” he said.

“Parents in isolation have access to the NICU’s … camera system, which allows them to log on and see their baby 24 hours a day.”

Meanwhile, NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says there is no excuse for the state’s teachers not to be fully vaccinated, after unions raised concerns about the government’s plans to move the reopening of schools forward.

“We said at the end of August that we want all of our staff to be vaccinated fully and I know that many of our teachers are,” she said on Seven’s breakfast show Sunrise.

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“Every day in the classroom is important. It’s great [to get back to face-to-face learning] for our teachers and parents but, most importantly, our students who I know can’t wait to get back in the classroom to see their friends.

“There really is no excuse not to be fully vaccinated [by the deadline]. Certainly, the teachers that I speak to are keen to get back into the classroom.”

Victoria on Friday recorded 1143 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. In Queensland, the state continues to avoid a lockdown with two new cases reported.

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