COVID-19 cases in New South Wales remain stubbornly high as the premier hoses down hopes of a “Freedom Day”.
The state reported 1043 new local cases and 11 virus-related deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday.
Of the people who died, one was in their 40s, two in their 50s, one in their 60s, six in their 80s, one in their 90s.
Ten were unvaccinated and all had underlying health conditions.
There are currently 1186 COVID-19 cases requiring treatment in hospital, with 232 people in intensive care, 110 of whom require ventilation.
The vaccine rollout continues to gain momentum, with 84.1 per cent of the eligible population having received at least their first dose and 56.6 per cent fully inoculated.
One third of New South Wales children aged 12 to 15 years old have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine, despite only being incorporated into the rollout a few weeks ago.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian described it as an “outstanding” result.
However, she warned with cases remaining high, the reopening process at 70 and 80 per cent double-dose coverage would be “cautious”.
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“So while we are all looking forward, almost a gallop to the finish line in terms of the double dose, we need to make sure that what we do at 70 and 80 per cent is done cautiously and also moderately,” she said.
“To appreciate, as I will and as many would, that if you have elderly parents or loved ones, even if all of you are fully vaccinated, the disease can still reach those closest to us.”
On the current trajectory, New South Wales should reach 70 per cent double dose coverage of the eligible population in the first week of October.
It comes as a plan to get international students back into New South Wales is unveiled.
The plan, announced on Friday, will involve students returning on chartered flights and quarantining for 14 days in retrofitted accommodation in Redfern.
The building can accommodate up to 650 quarantining students at one time but the pilot plan will only incorporate 500 students.
The plan is industry-funded, the government says, and will occur in parallel with attempts to repatriate stranded Australians overseas.