There are 8911 COVID-19 cases in NSW and one more death as the health minister says concerns about a new Omicron variant haven’t convinced him to reintroduce restrictions.
Preliminary data from the University of NSW found there could be a doubling of cases in the next four-to-six weeks as the more infectious BA.2 variant takes hold.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he was “not keen to go back down the lockdowns and the no singing and dancing and other aspects”.
“Everybody is over it, putting it bluntly,” he told ABC TV on Monday.
However, he is urging people to maintain COVID-safe behaviour.
“If you can wear a mask, do it and wash your hands, be careful.
“Don’t go to work if you have got symptoms at all. Get tested,” he said.
This BA.2 variant is a lot more transmissible but not necessarily more severe.
“We have a lot more people who are getting it and we could expect more people in hospital and more people possibly to pass away, sadly,” he said.
“But we have to balance mental health issues, the economic issues, young people having their cognitive development, being able to go to school, all of the things which have been so destructive for two years,” he said.
There are two million people who are overdue to have their booster vaccine, who need to be reminded of the “absolute necessity” of getting the third shot to protect them from Omicron.
“That is the big problem,” he said.
There are 1005 people in hospital with the virus, 47 of them in intensive care.
NSW Health reports 57.1 per cent of people have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 79.1 per cent of people aged 12-15 have had two jabs, while 48.4 per cent of children aged 5-11 have had one dose.