AUSTRALIA

‘Likely’ new NSW Omicron case visited venues in Sydney and on the Central Coast

Everyone on the flight is considered a close contact and should get tested immediately for COVID-19 and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Anyone who attended these venues has been deemed a casual contact, who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received. 

NSW Health also said initial testing on a second case, now in Broken Hill and who arrived on the same flight, indicates they are unlikely to have been infected with the Omicron variant.

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Earlier on Tuesday, NSW Health reported 179 cases of the virus and three new fatalities, which came after the state recorded four consecutive days of no COVID-19 deaths.

The man in his 40s, the man in his 50s and the woman in her 60s had all received one dose of a vaccine.

NSW Health said 62,166 tests were conducted in the 24-hours to 8pm on Monday.

Some 94.5 per cent of people aged 16 and older have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 92.4 per cent are fully jabbed.

More than 81 per cent of teens aged 12-15 have had one dose of a vaccine while 76.5 per cent of them have had two doses.

There are 160 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 26 are in ICU.

On Monday evening it was announced Australia’s easing of international border restrictions for visa holders would be paused for two weeks as the government seeks more information about Omicron.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Monday said his government would pursue “a proportionate and balanced response to the situation that’s in front of us”.

He said 141 people have been sent to hotel quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the state from the countries of concern.

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On Monday, before the number of Omicron cases rose again, the premier said there were no plans to adjust the state’s reopening roadmap.

Restrictions will ease for unvaccinated people on 15 December but Mr Perrottet said restrictions could be tailored in response to the variant if required.

If any changes are announced, they will likely come after a special meeting of the national cabinet on Tuesday afternoon.

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Opposition Leader Chris Minns said “rapid decisions will need to be made” but he was “not going to criticise the government for what’s happened over the last 48 hours”.

He urged the premier to publish any related health advice provided to the government by NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant.

It comes as Victoria recorded another 918 new COVID-19 infections and six deaths.

The new deaths of people aged in their 50s, 70s, 80s and 90s brings the total number in Victoria since the pandemic began to 1,331.

The state is now managing 11,417 active COVID-19 cases.

There are 305 COVID patients in the state’s hospitals, 41 of them are actively infected with the virus in intensive care and 19 requiring ventilation.

The seven-day hospitalisation average is 298.

Virus testers processed 45,658 results on Monday, while 3726 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in state-run hubs.

There’s now 91 per cent of Victorians aged over 12 fully vaccinated.

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Queensland, meanwhile, will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone aged over 16 who enters a school, childcare centre, prison or airport for work in the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says teachers, workers, guards, volunteers, cleaners and maintenance workers must have had one dose by 17 December and be fully vaccinated by 23 January to enter any “high-risk settings”.

She says the measures are aimed at protecting children aged under 12 who aren’t yet eligible for vaccines from the virus as the state eases restrictions later this year.

“We are taking strong action to protect the vulnerable in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Tuesday morning.

The latest figures show 86.27 per cent of Queenslanders have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 76.08 per cent are fully vaccinated.

With AAP.



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