Hospital admissions expected to decline even if COVID-19 cases rise

In NSW, 92.8 per cent of eligible people have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 83.7 per cent of people over 16 are now fully vaccinated.

Victoria reported 1748 new local cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths on Saturday after the state celebrated its first day out of lockdown on Friday. Of the 770 people in hospital with the virus in Victoria, 144 are in intensive care and 90 are on a ventilator.

Professor Gregory Dore, an epidemiologist from the Kirby Institute, also told The Sun-Herald he expected cases to rise at some point in coming weeks, but hospitalisations should remain low.

Professor Bennett also said it was encouraging that the number of hospital admissions and people being cared for in intensive care was already coming down.

“Your ICU admissions are just coming down towards half of where they were at their peak … and likewise hospitalisations are getting closer to a third,” she said.

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty urged revellers to celebrate Halloween next week in a COVID-safe way.

“Aim to keep the celebration outside, provide closed packaging for treats, and instead of communal lolly bowls, consider other ways to distribute the treats,” he said.

“Don’t share facemasks or costume face masks, and stay home and don’t participate if you’re feeling unwell with any symptoms at all.”

On Friday night, police charged a 20-year-old man at The Star Casino in Pyrmont for wearing a black balaclava instead of a facemask required under the Public Health Order.

It is alleged that the 19-year-old spat at arresting officers and two other men became involved in the fracas, with one allegedly punching a police officer in the chest.

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All three were taken to Surry Hills Police Station and charged, then granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court in December.

Professor Bennett said maintaining public health safety measures, such as wearing masks indoors and getting tested when symptomatic, were still crucially important to making sure case numbers remain manageable.

“If you’ve got 10,000 cases your hospitalisations will go up again. But if you can keep it below a thousand cases, and you’ve got low hospitalisation rates because of the [vaccine] coverage then you’re in a good position,” she said.

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