NSW has confirmed another 12,632 coronavirus cases and 38 deaths as hospitalisations continue to fall.
There are now 2578 people in hospital in NSW with the virus, the lowest since mid-January.
Of those, 160 people are in intensive care.
There were 825 more cases of the virus on Thursday than on Wednesday. But infection numbers have generally fallen in the past two weeks – although the state government has warned they could increase again with the return of children to school.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has challenged those questioning the return of students to classrooms.
Many students had lost one-quarter of their face-to-face learning during the pandemic, he said on Wednesday.
“We cannot ruin our children’s future,” he said.
While the school year would have “bumps along the way” it was the “right thing to do”.
“We have a duty as a government, we have a duty as a people, to ensure our kids are given better opportunities than we had,” he said.
Families beginning the school year with their children not vaccinated are being urged to do so “without delay”, NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said.
The opposition has called for schools to be turned into vaccination hubs for five to 11 year olds.
Labor education spokeswoman Prue Car said NSW “desperately” needed to lift vaccination rates among those children.
“This would ease the anxieties of parents and teachers and school communities,” she said.
Some 41 per cent of five to 11-year-olds have received a first dose, with the age group becoming eligible for COVID-19 vaccines three weeks ago.
Some 83.3 per cent of children aged 12 to 15 have had one dose, and 78.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
This is compared with 95 per cent of people aged 16 and over having had one dose, 94 per cent who are fully vaccinated and 40.7 per cent of people 18 and over having received a booster.