National News

NSW on cusp of 90 per cent fully vaxxed

COVID-19 cases in NSW are on the rise as the state is on the cusp of having 90 per cent of its adults fully vaccinated.

This means the state is on track to reach the government's 'world leading' ambition of having 95 per cent of citizens fully vaccinated.

After a week of daily case numbers below 300, the tally jumped by 118 to 308 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

However, NSW's high vaccination rates appear to be protecting it from cases spiralling in hospitals, with 302 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 64 of them in intensive care - down four on the previous day.

The latest vaccination rates released by the federal government show 89.05 per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated and 93.78 per cent have had one jab.

In the 12-15-year-old age group, 79.6 per cent have had their first dose, and 65.1 per cent are fully vaccinated, NSW Health says.

Meanwhile, more than 20 million COVID tests have been processed since the beginning of the pandemic.

That's almost 2.5 tests for everyone in the state as health authorities have constantly urged people to get tested at the slightest sign of symptoms.

There were four COVID deaths on Wednesday, including a 38-year-old unvaccinated woman from western Sydney with underlying health conditions, who died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie said hundreds of thousands of people in Sydney have had their COVID disaster payments cut off, leaving many to survive on $45-a-day JobSeeker payments.

The federal government is stopping disaster payments two weeks after states reach 80 per cent vaccination rate.

Premier Dominic Perrottet this week warned the state to expect infections and hospitalisations to increase, saying low numbers won't be sustainable as the state opens up, with extensive new freedoms to kick in next week.

The Hunter New England Local Health District has become the state's worst hotspot, recording about a third of the state's tally, with 103 new cases taking the total number in the latest outbreak there to 3282.

That's a jump of 68 from the previous day and there are now 904 active cases, with 33 in the Moree Plains LGA, 16 in the Mid Coast LGA, 11 in Port Stephens and nine in Tamworth.

Mr Perrottet has declined to reveal what the latest case modelling predicted, maintaining the state's post-lockdown opening up would go ahead, on the back of "world-leading" vaccination rates.

NSW Health's sewage surveillance program detected fragments of the virus in samples collected from Holbrook, Merimbula, West Wyalong, Manilla and Uralla, where there are no known cases.

There have been 530 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since the latest outbreak began in mid-June.

© AAP 2021