Multiple vaccination hubs, testing centres to close as NSW approaches 70 per cent

“In August we were doing up to 60,000 tests each day, and now we are down to about 30,000,” Mr Granger said, noting that rising case numbers in the region mean the company was pivoting their attention to pop up sites in Cooma and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven areas.

Despite the push for tests and vaccinations, some sites will shut their doors in coming weeks as the state’s non-essential retail, hospitality and events industries reopen.

Some testing sites will close as non-essential retail reopens in Sydney.

Some testing sites will close as non-essential retail reopens in Sydney. Credit:Kate Geraghty

The Qudos Bank Arena mass vaccination centre is scheduled to shut next month after administering more than 300,000 shots by the end of September.

Sources with knowledge of the agreement but not authorised to speak publicly said Qudos Bank Arena was contracted to host the vaccination hub only until mid-November.

Performances will resume at the arena the following month when capacity limits rise. Singer Keith Urban is still scheduled to play Qudos on December 3.

Meanwhile, Sydney Local Health District’s Waterview in Bicentennial Park Pfizer clinic, which opened in August, is set to close its doors in mid-October.

Healius, the parent company of Laverty Pathology which performs around 30 per cent of the COVID-19 testing in NSW, confirmed four of its testing sites will close this week, including a clinic in the carpark of Mount Pritchard Mounties Rugby League Football Club, which management said needed to shut for patrons to safely return to the venue.

“Our sites at Burwood [Westfield], Birkenhead Point, Panania and Peakhurst will close this week due to these venues preparing to reopen for business,” a Laverty spokesperson confirmed.

“COVID-19 PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing numbers have decreased from record levels over the last few weeks, in line with total state reported volumes,” the spokesperson said.

“Laverty has capacity to scale up again when required and has also invested in additional COVID testing capacity should testing numbers increase.”

With weddings of up to 50 people allowed from Monday, the vaccination clinic at Bankstown Sports Club’s ballroom will shut on Friday, club CEO Mark Condi confirmed.

“We do want to be able to use the ballroom for what it is designed for, which is weddings,” he said. The club has a medical centre that will continue to offer vaccinations.

NSW reported 608 new local coronavirus cases on Tuesday and seven additional deaths from the virus.

With the state due to hit 70 per cent double-dose coverage within days, some Sydney councils already have more than 80 per cent of their adult population fully vaccinated.

According to data released by the federal government on Monday night, just under 85 per cent of people in the Hills Shire, in north-west Sydney, have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, up from about 77 per cent the previous week. Rates were also high in Ku-ring-gai (84.4 per cent) and Hornsby (81.6 per cent).

According to NSW Health, 67.5 per cent of people aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated and 88.5 per cent have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday morning.

There are 978 COVID-19 cases admitted in hospital as of Tuesday, including 190 in intensive care, 94 of whom require ventilation.

Tuesday’s reported deaths ranged in age from a person in their 50s to a person in their 80s and included five people from south-west Sydney, one from western Sydney and a person from Dubbo.

Five were not vaccinated and two had received one dose.

Western Sydney local health district has been approached for comment

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