WATCH

Four deaths as NSW records 273 COVID-19 cases in October 19 2021 update

FOUR deaths have been added to NSW's COVID-19 death toll, but the state's case numbers remain fairly steady more than a week after the first post-lockdown freedoms took hold.

Three of those who died were in their 60s, and one in their 80s.

NSW chief health officer Dr Chant said two were not vaccinated, one had received a single dose while the final person had only recently received a second dose.

NSW recorded 273 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday.

All of the new cases were locally acquired, with none coming from overseas arrivals.

There are 589 people in hospital, with 128 around the state requiring intensive care.

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First dose vaccination rates ticked up to 92.1 per cent for people 16 and over, with 80.8 per cent receiving second doses.

More than 90,000 tests were conducted in the 24-hour period.

Regional breakdowns and other further details are expected to be released at 11am.

Dr Chant on Tuesday urged people to come forward for testing if they developed symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status.

"The age ranges of the people in ICU highlight that COVID can be a severe disease for all," she said.

She said that while youths aged 12 to 15 had been quick to vaccinate, that rate had "slowed a little bit", and encouraged those with issues including the need for dialysis to talk to their doctor about a third dose of vaccine.

Dr Chant said concerns extended far beyond Sydney.

"We are seeing cases increase in regional areas," she said.

"We're seeing cases in Hunter New England, around Lake Macquarie, in Wollongong."

Individual decisions will come to the fore when vaccination rates hit their peaks, Dr Chant said, noting that she would be particularly interested in the state's case numbers next week.

"We do know in our regions there's slightly lower vaccine coverage," she said.

"They're catching up really quickly, but we want to buy them a little bit more time."

This story Four deaths as NSW COVID case numbers stay under 300 first appeared on Newcastle Herald.