NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro spells out the worst is yet to come with state COVID figures

DAILY COVID-19 case numbers in NSW could still be on the rise in October, the NSW Deputy Premier says.

John Barilaro said crisis cabinet would discuss a possible extension to lockdown in some regional communities in the next six to seven days.

He was talking after the state again set a new national record on Monday for the tally of diagnoses reported in a 24-hour period.

That number was 1290 and followed 1218 on Sunday and figures topping 800 across the past week.

"We expect September still to be a tough month with rising numbers," Mr Barilaro said.

"We're not going to see until mid to late September a lot of the vaccines kick in, because even though you've had your first dose or second dose, there's a two to three week lag on that, so we're expecting September and even October numbers to continue to rise.

"But there will be a moment in time when vaccines do kick in and we'll starting seeing hospitalisations and of course hopefully deaths minimised."


However, Mr Barilaro said what was occurring in each area would determine whether there was a re-opening of parts of the state at the end of next week.

"Leading into the 10th of September we're going to look at the regions again," he said.

"We'll try by local government area by local government area and then we'll look at a regional perspective."

Mr Barilaro repeated his criteria for areas to end lockdown - no COVID cases or viral sewage fragments and neither of those factors in adjoining council areas.

INSERT: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photos: File

INSERT: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photos: File

He noted the last statewide extension followed an assessment that 65 per cent of the regions would still be in lockdown because they fitted one of those criteria of concern and it made no sense to lift it because you could not stop a level of movement.

However, Mr Barilaro noted there remained large COVID-free areas.

He said it was too early to say definitively "who, what, where and what conditions we'll be opening up the region [with]".

However, he did again call out some parts of the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD), which continues to be the greatest area of concern.

"I don't want to rule areas in or out at this stage; a lot of things can change, and we'll take into account density and how many other cases have been in the region as well," Mr Barilaro said.

However, he said he couldn't see the lockdown being lifted in Wilcannia or Broken Hill, as they have recorded cases consistently, and Dubbo and the Central West have previously been flagged as areas that are unlikely to be released on September 10.

Further north, though, the situation is more positive.

"The northern part of the state, the Riverina as well, I think there's a lot of confidence that you can open those large areas up and have minimal risk," Mr Barilaro said.

He again urged people in regional communities to get vaccinated, saying it was the path out of lockdown and restrictions for NSW.

This story 'Don't expect NSW figures to fall before October': Barilaro first appeared on The Border Mail.