Covid restrictions in NSW will remain in place for another month to ensure children can return to school and elective surgery can resume, it was revealed on Tuesday, as the country has recorded 76 more deaths from the virus.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement as the state recorded 18,512 new Covid cases and 29 deaths.
This means the indoor mask mandate, QR code check-ins, a ban on singing and dancing and the density limit of one person per two square meters in hospitality venues including pubs, nightclubs and coffees, will continue until February 28.
When the restrictions were announced earlier this month, Perrottet said they would apply until January 27.
But he said that given an expected rise in infections when pupils return to school later this week and the resumption of non-emergency elective surgery in mid-February, the extension was a “measured and proportionate approach. “.
“It’s all about priorities. I want there to be trust in our parents, I want there to be trust in our teachers that we can get the kids back to class for day one, term one,” said Perrottet.
“If you have to ask what’s more important, someone singing or dancing or someone recovering from elective elective surgery, I know what the right approach is.”
There are 2,943 people in hospital with the virus in New South Wales, an increase of 127 since Monday, although the number of people in intensive care units fell by 13 to 183.
Of the 29 people who died, all but one were aged 65 and over. Two had received three doses of vaccine, 21 had two doses and six were unvaccinated.
Victoria recorded 14,836 new Covid cases, an increase from 11,695 a day earlier and 29 deaths. There are 1,057 Victorians in hospital with the virus, an increase of 59 since Monday, while intensive care admissions remain stable at 119.
As thousands of people continue to contract the virus daily, Victoria’s Minister of Health, Martin Foley, has launched a campaign to encourage people with mild symptoms to manage their illness at home.
He said that since the start of 2022, more than 550,000 people have contracted the virus but only 0.71% have required hospitalization.
Victoria’s Deputy State Comptroller of Health System Operations Adam Horsburgh said the campaign would also “relieve some of the pressure that our frontline doctors and nurses are facing.”
“I hear firsthand many stories of people who felt the need to go to the ER or call triple zero because they didn’t necessarily know how else to access the advice or support they needed when ‘They had tested positive,’ he said. .
Horsburgh said since a system-wide “code brown” was enacted in public hospitals last week, admission numbers have either held steady or improved slightly.
However, there are still no plans to resume elective surgery in the state.
“We are very aware of the impact postponing elective surgery is having on everyone on a waitlist, but we do not believe the system will be able to restart elective surgery at this time,” did he declare.
In Queensland, there were 9,546 new Covid infections and 11 deaths, although state health director John Gerrard is confident the state is nearing the peak of its Omicron wave.
In South Australia, there were 1,869 new cases – the state’s lowest figure for 2022 – and five deaths.
The Australian Capital Territory has recorded 904 infections and one death, while Western Australia has recorded 15 cases.
In Tasmania, there have been 643 new cases and one person has died from the virus.
Tuesday marks two years since the first case of Covid was detected in Australia. On January 25, 2020, a man who flew to Melbourne from Wuhan tested positive for the virus.