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NSW recorded 1480 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.
The rise in case numbers across the state - up from the 1220 announced on Tuesday - comes just days before the planned end of the regional NSW lockdown at 11.59pm on Friday.
Deputy Premier John Barliaro on Tuesday touted the Riverina as a region potentially suitable to leave lockdown this weekend.
Mr Barilaro said he would be pushing for areas that have had no COVID-19 cases during the Delta outbreak - and no cases throughout the whole pandemic, in some cases - to leave lockdown on Saturday.
However, during Wednesday's COVID-19 update, Mr Barilaro said "no decision has been made in relation to any areas coming out of lockdown in regional and rural NSW".
"The most likely areas, if you are going to consider it, is areas that have no cases - it's as simple as that, no cases," he said.
"If we do make a decision in relation to opening, and that is up to the health advice to the crisis committee ... we will make those decisions, and we will let the community know shortly."
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Premier Gladys Berejiklian said any decision to lift the lockdown in regional areas of the state would be based on the ongoing advice provided by health experts.
"We said we'd let you know [of the decision] by the end of this week, and we will," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We always like to tell people what to expect beyond a particular date and we've always said we'll let the rural and regional communities know with enough notice what life is like from September 11, so that's certainly always our intention.
"I think communities are prepared either way, we're a pretty resilient population and we've learnt to deal with what a pandemic means.
"A pandemic means that you base your evidence, your advice on the best health advice at a particular point in time and you make sure that you provide comprehensive information when you get it.
"We'll be going through those processes this afternoon [Wednesday] and we hope to be in a position to advise the community tomorrow [Thursday]."
The nine deaths recorded to 8pm on Tuesday were:
- A man in his 60s from Dubbo died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
- A man in his 90s from south east Sydney died at St George Hospital. He was a resident of St George Aged Care Facility in Bexley and acquired his infection there.
- A man in his 20s from western Sydney died at Nepean Hospital.
- A man in his 80s from south eastern Sydney died at Prince of Wales Hospital.
- A woman in her 60s from Nepean Blue Mountains died at Nepean Hospital.
- A man in his 70s from western Sydney died at St Vincent's Hospital.
- A man in his 80s from western Sydney died at Westmead Hospital.
- A man in his 70s from south western Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital.
- A man in his 40s from south western Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital.
There have been 148 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since the start of the outbreak on June 16, and 204 in total since the start of the pandemic.
New cases in western NSW
The 1480 cases announced on Wednesday break down into these local health districts:
- 467 are from South Western Sydney LHD,
- 424 are from Western Sydney Local Health District,
- 233 are from Sydney LHD,
- 119 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD,
- 60 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD,
- 38 are from Northern Sydney LHD,
- 34 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD,
- 27 are from Western NSW LHD,
- 15 are from Central Coast LHD,
- 11 are from Hunter New England LHD,
- seven are from Far West LHD,
- 20 are in correctional settings, and
- 25 cases are yet to be assigned to an LHD.
There have been 31,914 locally acquired cases since the first case in this outbreak was reported.
There are 1136 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 194 people in intensive care, 78 of whom require ventilation.
Mr Barilaro said there were 27 new cases in western NSW to 8pm.
Seventeen of those cases were in the Dubbo LGA, six in Bourke, one in Walgett, and three in Bathurst.
"In the if far west local health district, there were seven cases. All seven cases were in Wilcannia. In the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region overnight, there were 34 cases," Mr Barilaro said.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
"Twenty-four cases were in the Wollongong local government area, seven cases in the Shellharbour local government area, two cases from the Shoalhaven local government area and one case currently under investigation in the Kiama LGA."
He said in the Hunter New England local health district, there were 11 cases overnight, three cases in Port Stephens LGA, two in the Newcastle LGA, five from the Lake Macquarie LGA and one from the Dungog LGA.
"In southern NSW, there were zero cases to 8pm last night but we've been notified this morning of two additional cases, one in Batemans Bay and one in Cooma.
"The Batemans Bay case is a contact of a previous case announced a couple of days ago."
"Fantastic result in the past seven days, moving first-dose vaccination rates from 36 per cent to 63 per cent and again I call out to regional and rural NSW, get vaccinated."
NSW Health's sewage surveillance program has recently detected fragments of the virus at the Bonny Hills sewage treatment in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area.
Vaccination milestone reached
Ms Berejiklian said the state had reached 75 per cent first dose vaccination and 42 per cent of the population was now fully vaccinated.
NSW Health administered 31,064 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm, including 7824 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.
The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 7,689,120 with 2,889,178 doses administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 4,799,942 administered by the GP network and other providers to 11:59pm on Monday.
There were 130,341 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm on Tuesday, compared with the previous day's total of 100,745.
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