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NSW reports 667 new local COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths

NSW has reported 667 new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Sunday, its smallest daily caseload for some weeks, and 10 deaths.

There have been 372 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since the start of the outbreak and 428 since the start of the pandemic.

There are currently 981 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 195 people in intensive care, 93 of whom require ventilation.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard described Sunday’s caseload as a “dramatic drop”.

“Quite a dramatic drop in the last three weeks. I want to thank the community for all of the work [it] has done to make sure that they have followed all of the guidance on the public health team and ensured that this virus is reducing its circulation, particularly in the Sydney region.”

The numbers come as NSW residents are warned to remain vigilant and not fall into the trap of disregarding COVID-19 restrictions while enjoying the NRL grand final.

Although the rugby league decider is being held out of state in Queensland for the first time, Sydney fans will be buoyed by the fact two of their own teams are contesting the event – South Sydney and Penrith.

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty has urged supporters not to drop their guard against the virus.

“I hope everyone enjoys the game but in order to remind people to continue to follow the safety rules … social gatherings are not permitted,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“Because you run the risk of spreading the virus … the number of fully vaccinated adults who can gather outdoors remains limited to five.”

Casino is currently in lockdown, with stay-at-home orders applicable to anyone who has visited the northern NSW town since 24 September.

Meanwhile, non-urgent day surgery will recommence in NSW private health facilities on Tuesday as transmission rates continue to fall. However non-urgent procedures at NSW public hospitals will remain postponed.