News Coronavirus Two more deaths, 212 COVID cases in NSW as charities call for festive volunteers

Two more deaths, 212 COVID cases in NSW as charities call for festive volunteers

NSW has recorded 212 cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths as major charities call for volunteers to help out in the lead up to Christmas. Photo: AP
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There are 212 more cases of COVID in NSW and two more people have died as two of the nation’s biggest charities say they are desperately short of volunteers who left during the pandemic lockdown.

Tuesday’s cases in NSW were up 45 from Monday and came from 67,893 tests.

There are 210 virus patients in the state’s hospitals, including 32 in intensive care.

NSW Health said 94.2 per cent of people over 16 had had one vaccine dose, while 91.1 per cent of adults were fully jabbed.

Of 12-15-year-olds, 80.6 per cent have had one vaccine dose, while 73.4 per cent have had both.

With less than six weeks until Christmas, the Red Cross and the St Vincent De Paul Society have issued a plea for for volunteers to staff their thrift shops, which are reopening as virus restrictions ease.

The charities lost many of their elderly volunteers as the pandemic took hold and lockdown lasted for months.

Australian Red Cross retail head Richard Wood said some were retirees in high-risk groups and there was a pressing need for newcomers as shops reopened.

“Some of our older volunteers are understandably being particularly cautious as they re-enter communities post lockdown, deciding to pause their volunteering commitments,” he said on Tuesday.

“With the lifting of restrictions our shops are experiencing increased demand for our goods and services.

“Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to communities facing tough times.”

Vinnies NSW chief executive Jack de Groot said thrift shops raised critical funds needed to help people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and poverty.

In the first quarter of the financial year, there was a 20 per cent increase in the number of people seeking assistance from Vinnies’ DV services.

Mr de Groot said people would need extra help in the lead-up to Christmas.

“This is coming at the worst possible time as there are significant pressures on Vinnies’ services that are driving demand up,” he said.

“We are at a point where emergency COVID unemployment payments are being withdrawn and those people will lose the safety net that was keeping them housed and fed.”