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NSW records 1,351 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths with Lismore and Albury to go into lockdown

New South Wales has reported 1,351 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths with new two regional areas will be plunged into lockdown.

Of the new deaths, one person was in their 40s, one person was in their 50s, four people were in their 60s, two people were in their 70s, three people were in their 80s and one person was in their 90s.

Ten of those people were unvaccinated.

Across the state, 80.1 per cent of the over-16 population has now received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and
48.5 per cent of the entire community over 16 are fully vaccinated, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Thursday.

The numbers come as the regional LGAs of Lismore and Albury will go into a seven-day lockdown from 6pm tonight after testing showed new cases in those areas who had visited various exposure sites.

Mr Hazzard said he sympathised with the two communities.

“Can I say that I express my sadness to the local community that having been free of that for a little while they have to go back into lockdown but it is for your safety and the community’s safety more broadly,” he said.

There are two cases in Albury without an unknown source who appear unrelated to each other, NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said on Thursday. There are possible links to Sydney, she said.

There is also one case is Lismore, also with a possible link to Sydney.

Dr Gale said there were a number of exposure sites in both Albury and Lismore. She asked everybody living in the two areas to be vigilant for symptoms and come forward for testing.

The city of Albury forms half of the Albury-Wodonga community, which straddles the NSW-Victorian border. Wodonga, part of regional Victoria, is not currently in lockdown.

Mr Hazzard said NSW Health was ensuring people in the area have access to vaccinations.

“Can I also say that in Albury, that area is principally managed through the Victorian health system, of course, the Albury-Wodonga system, but NSW Health will establish some additional pop-ups for testing in that area and there are a range of opportunities for vaccinations in that area, including GPs and also the service that is operated through the Albury-Wodonga service,” Mr Hazzard said.

Meanwhile residents in the coronavirus hotspot areas of south-west and western Sydney have seen their curfews lifted, and are being urged to come out in even greater numbers to be vaccinated.

First-dose vaccination numbers in Blacktown, Parramatta and Campbelltown have cleared 80 per cent of the eligible population, with other LGAs of concern not far behind.

But authorities want to push vaccination numbers even higher.

On Wednesday the premier called on residents not to become complacent as she ditched the hotspots’ curfew.

“We have roughly 2.2 million people in those areas of concern. Even having 20 per cent of them not vaccinated is about 400,000 people. That’s a lot of people,” she said.