News State NSW News NSW has 173 virus cases, two more deaths
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NSW has 173 virus cases, two more deaths

Sydney virus
NSW has recorded 173 COVID-19 cases and two more deaths in the latest reporting period. Photo: Getty
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There are another 173 COVID cases and two deaths in NSW as frontline workers protest a plan to end their automatic right to workers’ compensation if they catch the virus.

The new infections were diagnosed from 52,302 tests in the 24-hours to 8pm on Monday.

There are 196 patients in hospital, 34 of them in intensive care.

Across NSW, 94.4 per cent of people 16 and older have had one vaccine dose, while 91.9 per cent are fully jabbed.

In teenagers 12-15, 81 per cent have had one vaccine dose and 75.4 per cent both.

Last week Premier Dominic Perrottet announced plans to scrap a provision in the Workers Compensation Act that allows the presumption that frontline workers who test positive caught the virus while on duty.

The government estimates keeping the protection could invite 25,000 extra claims in the next 12 months, forcing insurance premiums up by an average of $950.

Unions representing workers in retail, health, hospitality, prisons rallied at parliament on Tuesday to convince MPs to block the repeal of the protection.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said it was unfair to repeal the law, which gave frontline workers the certainty that if they contracted the virus they would not have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to prove they caught it at work.

He is appealing to lower house MPs to “scrap this attack on our COVID heroes”.

“This heartless change of policy must not become law,” Mr Morey said on Tuesday.

“This will force individual workers to carry the burden of COVID exposure just for doing their jobs. The Liberals … callously overlook that the most affected workers are putting themselves in harm’s way to serve the public.

“After trashing iCare, you’d think Dominic Perrottet might show a little remorse. Instead he is slashing workers comp yet again.”

Business NSW supports the repeal of the legislation, saying small businesses will be unable to defend unsubstantiated claims made against them.