NSW COVID transmission blunted by vaccines
Vaccination against COVID-19 is beginning to dampen down transmission of the virus in NSW, health authorities believe.
The state reported an additional 1127 infections on Tuesday - the lowest number in nearly two weeks.
With almost 79 per cent of eligible residents at least partially vaccinated, NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty said immunisation is placing downward pressure on daily infections.
He urged caution, however, saying daily infections had flattened in the past before surging again.
"We'd like to see a few more days before we can have confidence about whether there is a trend," he said on Tuesday.
A high in daily infections is expected this week, with hospitalisations peaking in October and intensive care facilities soon afterwards.
"We're seeing pleasingly that cases haven't been increasing as fast as they had been, but that may be an effect of the weekend ... we'll see what's happening throughout the rest of the week," Dr McAnulty said.
A man in his 50s and a woman in her 80s - both from western Sydney - died, taking the toll for the current NSW outbreak to 186, and 242 for the entirety of the pandemic.
There are 1253 COVID-19 patients in NSW hospitals, with 231 in intensive care and 104 on ventilators.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday met with the mayors from the 12 Sydney local government areas with the toughest restrictions, after previous requests were rejected.
Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said the meeting was a "welcome change" that allowed her to represent her constituents directly to the premier.
She asked Ms Berejiklian to lift the curfew on the hotspot areas, which she said was creating additional stress on suffering residents.
Ms McKeown wants suburbs with low case numbers removed from the list of hotspots, which are subject to heightened restrictions.
Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said she told the premier the divide between the southwest and west and the rest of Sydney could be "irreparable" even after restrictions are lifted.
"Many members of the community have told me they no longer feel like we're all in this together," she said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro will meet with regional mayors on Friday.
Meanwhile, the state government has announced an additional $287.5 million in COVID-19 financial support to help workers and vulnerable communities in metropolitan, regional and rural NSW.
The funding will see COVID-19 emergency hardship payments, test and isolate support payments, and community grants expanded.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns told reporters Ms Berejiklian needed to again subject herself to media and parliamentary scrutiny, having ended her daily participation in COVID-19 press conferences.
The government scuttled an attempt by the opposition and crossbench to have the upper house sit on Tuesday.
The absence of any government minister meant the session could not proceed.
Mr Minns said voters needed "a clear idea of the direction of the government" and that the state's leaders needed to be held to account.
Parliament is slated to return on October 12.
Elsewhere, Yass Valley Council area in the Southern Tablelands has gone back into lockdown following a positive COVID-19 case. Virus fragments were also uncovered in nearby Young.
© AAP 2021