August 8, 2022

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NSW recorded 7,893 new Covid cases on Sunday and 28 deaths while Victoria has seen...

NSW recorded 7,893 new Covid cases on Sunday and 28 deaths while Victoria has seen 7,169 new cases on Sunday and six deaths as coronavirus cases continue to drop. 
Victoria’s dwindling Omicron wave has eased pressure on its once-overrun PCR testing system, with daily Covid cases dropping to an almost five-week low.
Kate Matson, a deputy secretary of Victoria’s health department, said there had been a ‘significant improvement’ in test turnaround times in recent weeks.

Victoria reported 7,169 new Covid cases on Sunday  (pictured, a student receives a Covid test from a health care worker in Melbourne)

Tens of thousands of PCR tests were deemed invalid in January after pathology clinics were overwhelmed and could not process tests within seven days.
Ms Matson said 97.4 per cent of PCR test results were now being returned to people within 24 hours.
NSW on Saturday reach the 16 millionth administered vaccine doses since the pandemic began. 
The state Premier Dominic Perrottet says he wants to focus on ‘the positive’ after people said returning children to classrooms ‘couldn’t be done’.
‘What I saw this week was smiles on so many kids’ faces right across the state as they returned back to class. We had a plan, we’ve resourced that plan, we executed that plan,’ Mr Perrottet said.
Some 86 per cent of school children were back in classrooms this week, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said on Friday.
While 617 staff across 438 schools tested positive for Covid-19, Ms Mitchell said casual teachers and existing staff had been able to cover for them.  
Elective surgery will return in the state ahead of schedule following a fall in hospitalisations over the past week.
Mr Perrottet said on Friday hospitals were operating ‘well within capacity’, opening the door for those surgeries to resume in private and non-metropolitan public hospitals next week.
The decision to cancel elective surgery was made in January, as daily case numbers topped 38,000.
A review into the situation was initially slated for mid-February but advice from NSW Health now says private, regional and rural public hospitals can return to up to 75 per cent of pre-pandemic activity on Monday.
Waiting times for elective surgery can stretch as long as seven weeks, with hospitals back-logged with bookings from cancellations over 2020.
‘We are seeing some very pleasing and reassuring data that is coming through in relation to hospitalisations and ICU presentations,’ NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet told journalists
Residents of NSW will soon be able to access $100 vouchers to spend in bars and restaurants in the Sydney CBD on Fridays only. 
The vouchers will be redeemable at any hospitality or entertainment venue and are expected to be made available to more than 500,000 people.
Only five per cent of Australians have not had a COVID-19 vaccine, making Australia one of the world’s most-vaccinated countries.
A total 95 per cent of Australians aged 12 and over have had at least one dose of a vaccine, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Saturday.
The country’s level of protection is now ‘right at the front of the highest global vaccination rate’, Mr Hunt said.
The milestone was reached on the same day more than 2000 anti-vaccine mandate protesters marched through Canberra, monitored by police.
The demonstrators marched from Glebe Park in Canberra city centre to Old Parliament House, then to the Federation Mall outside Parliament House.
The large crowd had dwindled to a handful of people by mid afternoon, a spokesman for ACT Police said.
Saturday had also  been the original date marked for Western Australia to lift its hard border, before the plan was scrapped by Premier Mark McGowan.
It is not known when WA will open its borders to the rest of the country.
While in the Northern Territory, an outdoor mask mandate was scrapped on Saturday, with the government saying Territorians showed ‘high levels of personal responsibility’.
People over 12 are still being urged to wear a mask outside when they cannot physically distance, while an indoor mask mandate remains in place.

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