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The premier has stepped back up for a NSW COVID-19 update the day it was handed over to NSW Health on a daily basis.
Gladys Berejiklian made the sudden announcement on Friday that Sunday's staple 11am press conference would be the last in the format that has become a daily ritual during the outbreak.
Instead of NSW Health leading the Monday morning update, Ms Berejikian returned to announce 1257 new cases of COVID-19 were found in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm Sunday.
Seven deaths from COVID-19 were reported to NSW Health and 137,668 tests were conducted in the same timeframe.
Just over 46 per cent of NSW adults have received two doses of vaccine and 78.5 per cent have had their first jab, the premier revealed, and the push continues for jabs in arms, particularly in school-aged children.
"We want to encourage all those Year 12 students and Year 11 students who are eligible to come forward and get vaccinated, to give that extra bit of protection to older adolescents and younger adults," Ms Berejiklian said.
"From next week Moderna will be available at pharmacists for young children aged between 12 and 15.
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"We really want parents to take up this opportunity to vaccinate their children so by the time we go back to school, not only will we have high vaccination coverage for adults, but we'll also start to see some vaccination coverage for 12 to 15-year-olds as an additional safeguard."
South-western and western Sydney remain areas of concern, Ms Berejiklian said, but pleasingly there are signs of cases stabilising in some of the local government areas of concern in Sydney as well as some regional NSW areas.
"In regional NSW we have seen a stabilisation in cases, however in Hunter, Central Coast and Wollongong, we have seen an increase in cases," the premier said.
Some restrictions eased on Monday in regions that are still subject to stay-at-home orders, as more than 6 million vaccines have been delivered, and a large section of the state emerged from lockdown at the weekend. NSW is not out of the woods yet, Ms Berejiklian warned.
"It's way too early for any of us to get complacent and we are concerned that an unexpected event, a superspreader event can suddenly [cause] a major setback," she said.
"So whilst people start enjoying some things they couldn't enjoy last week, I urge the community, please do not get complacent, do not let your guard down."
A number of sewage detections in regional areas without known cases has authorities putting communities on alert, with NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty urging people to come forward for testing for even the mildest symptoms.
Health authorities are urging residents of Young and Harden to come forward for testing after COVID-19 fragments were found in sewage surveillance last week.
The detection was first flagged by Dr McAnulty on Saturday, with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District confirming on Sunday that mobile testing clinics will be deployed to the Hilltops communities this week.
Dr McAnulty announced the virus has been found in several more regional areas during the Monday update.
"These are at Yass and Eden in the southern part of NSW; in Tamworth, in the Hunter New England; in Dunbogan and Karuah on the Mid North Coast," he said.
"In Gerroa, at Illawarra Shoalhaven and Brooklyn in northern Sydney. So, please, if you live in those communities, or been in those communities, come forward for testing."
A regional NSW man is among the latest death toll, Dr McAnulty said.
The Dubbo man, aged in his 90s, acquired his infection and died at the St Mary's Villa aged care facility.
A man in his 80s from inner city Sydney died at St Vincent's Hospital, a woman in her 60s from south western Sydney died at Campbelltown Hospital, a south western Sydney man in his 90s died at Liverpool Hospital, an inner west woman in her 90s died at Concord Hospital and a man in his 80s from south western Sydney died at Sutherland hospital.
The interstate, trans-Tasman situation
The announcement of the virus being found in the Hilltops region came as the Riverina and other COVID-free parts of the state emerged from weeks of lockdown.
Parks filled with people, families were reunited and plenty a pint was poured as Wagga residents took full advantage of the first day out of lockdown in a month.
Hairdressers were inundated as lockdown locks were lopped thanks to too much time between trims.
The Style Bar owner Katie Coote, who opened the business on July 1, but had been closed for five weeks, was excited to reopen her doors.
"There were some happy tears from myself and my clients," Mrs Coote said.
"It's been financially and mentally challenging and I couldn't have kept going without the support of my husband, family, staff and customers who have been great in supporting small businesses."
The premier's appearance on Monday was an about-face after doubling down on the move to step back on Sunday.
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"I was very upfront and honest to say that while there would be ample information provided on a daily basis, I will not necessarily be the one providing the information on a daily basis," Ms Berejiklian said on Sunday.
"That is because, as I have said, I need a clear head. The next two months will be the most challenging our state has seen perhaps ever.
"I will still be a regular feature at 11am, but not every day."
On Monday, the premier said she was always going to appear when the milestones were reached.
"I was always scheduled to do today because of the key milestones we announced," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Obviously today is the first day many people have freedoms they didn't have before and I want to stress that nothing has changed from my comments from last week. I'm on the job 24/7."
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