HIGH CASE NUMBERS IN THE HUNTER, AS NSW RECORDS 961 LOCAL COVID-19 CASES

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on September 26. (Supplied)

New South Wales has recorded 961 new local COVID-19 cases in the last day and another nine deaths.

Of the Hunter’s 45 new cases, 28 were infectious in the community, 32 have been linked to known cases or clusters, 13 people are hospitalised and two of those are in intensive care.

Authorities are working to determine the source of an infection in Gowrie, before making the call as to whether the Singleton LGA should go back into lockdown.

Meanwhile, 30 new cases have been recorded on the Central Coast – 26 of them were in the community while infectious, prompting new exposure sites in Lisarow, Narara, Umina Beach and Woy Woy.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian fronted the media today, saying high covid numbers in the regions is of concern.

“Unfortunately, in the Illawarra and the Central Coast we’re seeing more case numbers than we’d like to see,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“So, we ask those communities in particular to remain vigilant.”

Dr Jeremy McAnulty flagged several communities in Northern NSW which need to be on high alert, after COVID-19 sewage detections.

“That’s in Muswellbrook, in the Upper Hunter Valley, Grafton – the Grafton North and South sewage systems have tested positive – and Wardell on the North Coast,” Dr McAnulty said.

Ms Berejiklian also said she is pleased by the speed of the state’s vaccine uptake, with more than 85 per cent of residents now having received a single dose.

“It’s very pleasing to see that number go up and I would love to see us said that 90 per cent figure in the near future,” she said.

Almost 60 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated, with that milestone expected to be hit later today.

The Premier also announced the final plan, revealing the freedoms vaccinated residents can expect at 80 per cent vaccination coverage, is very close to being finished.

The first restrictions are set to ease for the fully vaccinated on October 11, when NSW is predicted to hit the 70 per cent mark double-dose milestone.

Dr Jeremy McAnulty said now the focus must be on the state’s young people to come forward for a jab.

“We would like to push the 16 to 39-year-old people to come forward with as well,” he said.

“It’s important we all come together to raise levels, and younger people need to come forward to get vaccinated, help protect yourself and your loved ones.”

There are currently 1146 patients being treated in New South Wales hospitals with the coronavirus, 222 people are in the ICU – 117 of whom require ventilation.