Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Vaccine milestones for hotspots
The 12 Greater Sydney Local Government Areas (LGAs) considered COVID-19 hotspots are reaching vaccination milestones faster than the rest of New South Wales.
Some 2 million people live in these areas, representing a quarter of the state’s population.
According to the latest federal government data, 85% of people living in a hotspot received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 3% more than the state average of 82%.
As of September 19, more than 90% of residents at LGAs in Blacktown and Campbelltown had received their first dose.
Bayside was the only LGA of the 12 that followed the state average, but only by a fraction.
Relaxed restrictions in areas of concern took effect on Monday, meaning there is no longer a limit for outdoor exercise and fully immunized people can congregate outdoors in groups of five.
However, travel permits and rules for authorized workers are still in place.
Yesterday, a 14-year-old teenager from southwest Sydney was one of the first people in Australia to receive a Moderna vaccine, after more than a million doses arrived in Sydney over the weekend.
Across New South Wales, 14 pharmacies have started administering doses, with priority given to 12-15 year olds.
Back to school plan should include CO2 filters
An occupational hygienist has recommended that classrooms be fitted with carbon dioxide filters to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Starting October 25, children across the state will gradually return to school, starting with kindergarten and grade one.
Kate Cole, of the OzSAGE expert group, said bringing fresh air into classrooms should be the top priority, as poor ventilation has contributed to the spread of the virus.
âThen we can use very simple measurements like carbon dioxide monitors to see how much carbon dioxide is building up in those spaces,â Ms. Cole said.
âIt’s a really fantastic surrogate for us to understand whether a place is high risk or low risk.
“We advise that if the carbon dioxide concentrations are not less than 800 parts per million and we have no other way to get more fresh air into that space, then … we recommend using portable HEPA air purifiers. “
A spokesperson for the education department said their back-to-school plan was based on advice from NSW Health, which said CO2 monitors or HEPA filters were not needed.
âThe advice is to maximize natural ventilation and, with a view to returning to face-to-face learning, the department is examining the windows to make sure they can open,â the spokesperson said.
“The review will also ensure that ceiling or wall fans are operational and that other mechanical ventilation systems, such as air conditioners, are cleaned or filters replaced.”
Appeal for arson investigation
Police are appealing for information about an alleged arson in which a teenager died in Macquarie Fields earlier this year.
Emergency services were called to a house in the Macquarie Fields in the early hours of the morning on June 30 after smoke was seen coming from a two-story brick house.
The occupants were able to escape from the house, but a teenager was not found.
His body was later found in an upstairs bedroom.
The boy has been officially identified as 14-year-old Tahma Teara-Jones.
Police learned that Tahma stayed with a friend who was staying in the house the night of the fire.
“It was incredibly tragic circumstances that claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy, and Tahma’s family deserve answers,” said arson unit coordinator Chief Detective Inspector Richard Puffett ,
Police are asking anyone with information about the fire to come forward.
Race day crowds return
As the Australian Turf Club lobbied for 15,000 people to compete in the Everest horse race at Randwick Racecourse next month, the NSW government has said it won’t would only allow 5,000 people to attend the event.
The government expects to achieve the double-dose vaccination rate of 70% before the October 16 event.
His authorization to go ahead with the event was signed yesterday by the State Crisis Cabinet.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says temperatures will drop today before easing Wednesday as a cold front sweeps across New South Wales.
Greater Sydney and the Hunter region could see widespread showers, thunderstorms and winds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.
Snow is expected to fall mainly along the state’s highlands. A dangerous surf warning has been issued for the Macquarie, Hunter and Sydney coasts.
“People need to be aware that this is a cold snap even though we have had pretty warm conditions, especially for this time of year,” BOM forecaster David Wilke said. .
“We are brought back to temperatures which are a little more like winter.”