NSW recorded 15,091 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, down from the 20,324 reported on Sunday morning.
Five million rapid antigen tests were delivered to schools across the state yesterday in preparation for school resuming, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said, likening it to a “military operation”. He said today schools will be safe in Term One, in response to some anxiety from parents and teachers.
Over 5000 early child care centres will also have access to the RATs, he said.
In the 12-15 -year-old age group, 82.7 per cent have had their first dose and 78.4 per cent jabbed twice.
In the 5- 11-year-old age group, 28 per cent of children have had a first dose.
NSW Department of Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson was quizzed at the daily press conference about going back to school.
She was asked: “Will parents actually ensure their kids use RATs twice a week?
“And what about the kids, some who are immunocompromised, who will not be sent to school for potentially weeks or longer?”
Ms Harrison said “for the vast majority” of students school is the best place.
She was “confident” parents would do the right thing in keeping up with twice weekly testing.
She understood the anxiety of parents who had children with underlying health conditions but added “our schools already support those students every day”.
Mr Perrottet said again parents across the state should be “very reassured” that schools can “open safely” on day one.
Meantime, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the return to school would bring an “uptick” in cases, but overall “our assessment indicates that the spread of COVID virus is slowing, our situation is stabilising”.
Dr Chant also reinforced the importance of booster shots, explaining said some of the people who died overnight “missed that opportunity” of a third jab.
Of the 24 people who died in the last 24 hours, two were aged in their 50s, one in their 60s, two people in the 70s, 12 in their 80s, and seven people in their 90s.