News State NSW News NSW has 11,807 COVID cases, 27 deaths
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NSW has 11,807 COVID cases, 27 deaths

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Mr Perrottet says the strength of the NSW health system has allowed some elective surgery to resume. Photo: AAP
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There are 11,807 more COVID-19 cases in NSW and 27 more deaths as case numbers continue to trend downward and hospitalisations stabilise.

There were 2622 COVID patients in hospital across the state on Wednesday, down 127 from the previous day.

Of those, 170 people are in intensive care.

NSW Health has moved its daily cut-off for COVID-19 reporting from 8pm to 4pm, so from Thursday its 24-hour reporting cycle will be from 4pm to 4pm.

Just over 40 per cent of eligible people in NSW have had a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 78 per cent of people aged 12-15 have had two doses of a vaccine and 40.3 per cent of children aged 5-11 have had a single dose.

The state had reported 12,818 coronavirus cases and 30 deaths on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, elective surgery classed as “non-urgent” will begin resuming next week as waiting lists grow. But those seeking a procedure in Sydney’s public hospitals face a further wait.

The government announced on Tuesday that procedures could resume in private hospitals that are below 75 per cent capacity, as well as regional and rural public hospitals.

Wait times for elective surgery have blown out during the pandemic as surgeries were cancelled to prevent overwhelming hospitals dealing with coronavirus outbreaks.

A recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing found those waiting longer than a year for elective surgery made up 7.6 per cent of the national waitlist, up from 2.8 per cent in the previous period.

Those figures were from the 2020-21 financial year, and did not include information from suspending non-urgent elective surgery in NSW since June 30.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns said the government needed to provide more funding to clear pandemic backlogs and get people off the waitlists.

“Many of them are in severe pain and need this surgery to get their lives back on track,” Mr Minns said on Tuesday.

Australian Medical Association NSW President Danielle McMullen said the government needed to plan better for future outbreaks and not “use elective surgery as a lever to fix workforce resourcing problems”.

Elective surgery was due to resume later in February. But Premier Dominic Perrottet said NSW being able to bring the restart forward “is a testament to the strength of our health system”.

A rise in cases is anticipated following the return of children to NSW classrooms this week.

Mr Perrottet said there would be bumps and “it won’t be all smooth-sailing” but “there’s nothing more important” than getting children back in classrooms.

“I know that many parents are anxious … but the alternative is to have schools closed and … it’s not the outcome that’s best for our kids,” he said on Tuesday.

-AAP