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'Difficult' months ahead for COVID-hit NSW

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New South Wales must steel itself for a “difficult” September and October as the state’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to break records, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.

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“We want to be very clear … that September and October will be difficult for NSW,” the premier told reporters on Thursday.

The state again broke its record for cases yesterday, with 681 people testing positive in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, after a then-record 633 cases were reported the day before.

Most of Thursday’s cases were again in western Sydney and southwest Sydney.

A man in his 80s also became the 61st death of the outbreak, which started in mid-June.

But the premier said there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” as vaccination numbers rise, with the State Government currently looking at ways to give vaccinated people more freedom in September when NSW reaches six million jabs.

But Berejiklian on Wednesday refused to elaborate on what exactly that would look like.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Marianne Gale said the “vast majority” of positive cases were doing the right thing.

“What we are seeing is that transmission occurs so easily in households and … those people that provide essential services, who worked in aged care, work in disability, who work in healthcare settings, who work in factors, work in shopping centres,” she said.

“And so, transmission is happening between workplaces and households.”

The state broke another record for daily vaccinations on Thursday, with 132,439 people reported to have received the jab.

Some 55.2 per cent of people over 16 have now had at least one dose of the vaccine.

The entire state is now in lockdown until at least August 28, after the government extended restrictions in regional NSW by another week.

Broken Hill has not recorded a new case since Monday when a local resident tested positive to the virus on Monday and was infectious in the community for three days.

-with AAP

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