All signs are pointing to another COVID wave taking over NSW.
On Thursday, the state’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said not only was the state seeing a rise in cases, but also a change to the variants.
She said with the changes to the variants circulating, it indicates to healthcare professionals that NSW is about to go through another COVID-19 wave.
“By looking at all the local information we have, and what’s happening overseas, we believe COVID cases will rise in the coming weeks,” she said in an update.
Vaccinations and previous infections will continue to reduce the risk of severe illness.
However, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions will still be at higher risk of developing a more severe illness.
The most common variants seen in the state are A.4 and BA.5, while there also has been a rise in emerging variants and the BA.2 sublineages.
The ‘best protection’
Dr Chant said the best protection people have against COVID in the face of an oncoming wave is being vaccinated.
She said vaccines will also offer the best protection against the latest variants.
Dr Chant also suggested people should find out if they could be recommended anti-viral medication.
“And if so have a plan for how you’re going to get tested and how you’re going to get those antivirals as soon as possible,” she said.
As for protecting the most vulnerable in the community, Dr Chant urged people to stay at home if they are sick or have symptoms and get tested for COVID-19.
“Staying home and away from places where there are people at higher risk such as hospitals and aged care facilities, when you have COVID or any symptoms is essential,” she said.
In the week ending last Friday, there were 9707 people in NSW diagnosed with COVID-19.
That is an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to the previous week.
In the week ending on October 29, there were 227 people admitted to hospital with COVID and 18 people sent to the ICU, the most recent COVID-19 surveillance report from NSW Health said.
In the last week, there were 17 COVID-19 deaths, four of those people had not had three doses of the vaccine and one person was younger than 65 years old.