Bathurst MP Paul Toole has indicated the region could very well be about to experience its final fortnight of lockdown, as the Australian Defence Force [ADF] clinic returns this week to administer second jabs.
Speaking to the Western Advocate on Friday, Mr Toole said the state government is seriously looking at the second Monday in October as the day where NSW will start to emerge from lockdown, with the state 59.2 per cent fully vaccinated as of Sunday morning.
"We are looking at October 11 as the day we'll start to see NSW opening up again, and to have that level of confidence that a large percentage of the population will be vaccinated is important," he said.
"Whether it's young or elderly people, I want to make sure our community is safe and they've had every opportunity to get vaccinated in the meantime."
Although 70 per cent fully vaccinated is the 'soft reopening' figure for NSW, there are fears many communities will reopen before hitting that mark themselves, with Bathurst 46 per cent fully vaccinated as of September 19; at that same point, NSW was 52.6 per cent fully vaccinated.
Mr Toole hopes the ADF clinic, which returns to the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre from Monday, will help drive the local rate up significantly over the next week.
"When the ADF clinic was here three weeks ago, it saw around 4100 people walk through the doors at BMEC to receive their first dose," he said.
"From a community perspective, this will only push us closer to that 70 per cent figure, with around 10 per cent of residents across the local government area set to be fully vaccinated by week's end."
Western NSW Local Health District chief executive officer Scott McLachlan said it's important for members of the community who are either unvaccinated or one dose in to accept any vaccination opportunity available.
"Look for every opportunity, whether it be a GP, pharmacy, Aboriginal medical service or a respiratory clinic, and all information is on the WNSWLHD website," Mr McLachlan said.
NSW Police Western Region commander Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree said Bathurst "has been going really well" with COVID-safe compliance over the past week.
"There's been minimal infringements, and local police tell me they're pretty pleased with community conduct," Assistant Commissioner Greentree said.
In the 24 hours to 8pm Saturday, Bathurst recorded zero new cases of COVID-19, with seven of the last eight days having now gone without recording a new case.
The ADF clinic will be open at BMEC Monday to Saturday by invitation only.
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