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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

Perrottet: elective surgeries off, booster mandate on and no singing or dancing

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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet at Royal North Shore Hospital this afternoon.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet met with the media this afternoon to outline restrictions being reintroduced. If you are one of the thousands of people who have been on and off the list for elective surgery, then you are off again as of tomorrow.

New South Wales Health report that they are 234,066 active cases of Covid-19 with 1,738 in hospital, 134 cases in intensive care with 33 people requiring ventilation. NSW Health says the active COVID-19 cases are defined as people who have tested positive for COVID-19, are in isolation and are been clinically monitored by New South Wales Health.

Cases are considered active for 14 days after the symptoms onset and cases which have been hospitalized are considered active until discharged.

This does not account for the cases of people who took a rapid antigen chest and are not very unwell and are isolating at home of their own accord.

Hospital ‘modelling’

Mr Perrottet said today NSW Health will be releasing modelling in terms of the hospital capacity in New South Wales. ‘We’ve modelled three different areas over this [coming] period of time as pressure on a health system builds over the next few weeks.

‘This is in line with what we did during the Delta outbreak.

‘What is encouraging from this model is that even on a worst-case scenario, we have the capacity in our health system right now. So obviously around the country around the world during this pandemic, we are seeing significant pressure on our health systems, but our health system is strong. We’ve invested significantly.

‘We have the best health system here in New South Wales, in the country, if notm around the world, and that is supported by those great men and women who are making those efforts each and every day to keep people safe.

‘Once again, I want to thank our health workers, our health workers for that.

Elective surgeries suspended

’In order to assist the health system during this period of time, just like we did during the Alpha outbreak and the Delta outbreak, today, we are announcing that we will continue to suspend elective surgery for non-urgent surgeries – that’s category three, which is an elective surgery that’s non-urgent in the next 365 days, until mid-February.

Mr Perrottet said NSW Health will be engaging with the private hospital system. ‘To help with capacity constraints over this period of time as we did that during the Delta outbreak and the Alpha outbreak. We believe this is the right approach right now to help as you’ll see through that modelling.


‘In addition today, as we’ve seen those significant queues have eased in relation to PCR testing, we are making an announcement today that as we move to rapid antigen tests, over this next period of time, we will be counting those positive RAT tests and including them as we have with PCR testing.

‘So what will we say to people today as we move through this [up coming] period, that if you do receive a positive, rapid antigen test that you register that through service New South Wales and New South Wales Health app – it will be available by mid next week.

‘If you do have a positive rapid antigen test that you treat that as if it was a positive PCR test, and that you isolate in accordance with the rules that are in place.

Mr Perrottet said that has always been the case as we move through this pandemic, NSW Health will continue to monitor our hospitalizations and ICU capacity. ‘Today, we are making some sensible and proportionate changes as we move through this next period as the peak of omicron comes through.

‘Those changes will come in from tomorrow, up to January 27, where the other restrictions remain in place. Those changes are as follows.

No singing, no dancing

‘There’ll be no singing and dancing in hospitality venues. That does not include weddings or performers or classes that people may be maybe conducting. In addition to that, major events will proceed. Health is currently reviewing those and if certainly if there is deemed to be a high-risk venue, New South Wales Health along with the Department of Premier and Cabinet will work closely with organisers in adjusting those COVID Save plans.

So if you have a major event planned throughout January continue as planned. There are no changes to any of those events are they are continuing as planned.

‘As well today we were saying as we have in the past, we continue to encourage people to minimise mingling where possible. If you’re in a hospitality venue, you can sit down while drinking. Minimising mingling during this period of time obviously provides a greater assistance across the board and also with household visitations, please where you can, minimise those household visitations and as well, when you’re having events inside. You can have those events outdoors. We highly recommend it whilst it’s raining tonight, it’s been raining this week, we’re in the middle of summer. ’It’s a great opportunity to move indoors outdoors and that will assist as well as we move through this period.

‘Fully vaccinated’ mandate now includes a booster

The other change is in relation to mandatory vaccinations. There are a number of workers here in New South Wales that we’ve deemed to be in high-risk settings. In those circumstances, we have mandated vaccinations and we will be moving to those mandates including a booster shot.

So the health minister is working through that at the moment, but that announcement today will ensure that whether it’s our teachers, nurses, our frontline health and disability worker, where New South Wales Health has previously required mandatory vaccination for certain frontline staff,  we will move to boost has been included as part of that fully vaccinated determination.’

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  1. No singing or dancing? Bugger! What can I do on Perrottet’s and Morrison’s graves when the time comes (which won’t be soon enough)?

    If I found either of those incompetents burning on the roadside I’d save my urine for a worthwhile purpose.

  2. Why is it all so reactive? Why didn’t they have all this stuff thought through and planned for, beforehand? Why are they only doing modelling now, in the middle of the surge (that they caused by opening up so fast, along with a new variant)? Why wasn’t the demand surge on testing resources planned for? I find this leadership so untrustworthy. They backflip, they obfuscate, they grandstand, lie and blame-shift. I have never had a feeling that we are truly all in this together and that the communication is clear and true. People may criticise NZ’s Jacinda Ardern gov for being overly cautious, but I would take them any day over this lot. Their regular briefings and humanity are just so much more encouraging. A major cost of our current gov’s handling of the pandemic is the Australian morale and mental health. It doesn’t have to be this way, people.

  3. So, if you get busted for singing along to ABBA in the pub, and you haven’t paid for the privilege of hearing it, what happens?

    Is it a defence that you put money in the jukebox, so it was a paid singing lesson?

    Does it matter whether the rest of the pub patrons liked your singing or not?

  4. No numbers for Nimbin? Yet friends there tell me many people have it, many unvaccinated. Many untested. They think they have this “mild” Covid.


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