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Friday, January 21, 2022

NSW reports 212 COVID-19 cases, two deaths

There are 212 new cases of COVID-19 in NSW and two more people have died as two of the nation’s biggest charities say they are desperately short of volunteers who left during the pandemic lockdown.

The new cases were recorded from 67,893 tests recorded in the 24-hours until 8pm on Monday.

There are 210 people in hospital with 32 in ICU.

NSW Health said 94.2 per cent of people over 16 have had one vaccine dose, while 91.1 per cent of adults are fully jabbed.

Now 80.6 per cent of 12-15 year olds have had one vaccine dose, while 73.4 per cent have had both.

With less than six weeks until Christmas the Red Cross and St and the St Vincent De Paul Society are calling for volunteers to staff their thrift shops, which are reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

The charities lost many of their elderly volunteers as the pandemic took hold and lockdown lasted for months.

Australian Red Cross Head of Retail Richard Wood said a number of volunteers were retirees in high-risk groups and there was a pressing need for newcomers as shops reopened.

“Some of our older volunteers are understandably being particularly cautious as they re-enter communities post lockdown, deciding to pause their volunteering commitments,” he said on Tuesday.

“With the lifting of restrictions our shops are experiencing increased demand for our goods and services. 

“Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to communities facing tough times,” he said. 

Vinnies NSW chief executive Jack de Groot said thrift shops raised critical funds needed to help people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and poverty.

In the first quarter of the financial year, there was a 20 per cent increase in the number of people seeking assistance from Vinnies’ DV services.

Mr de Groot said people would need extra help in the lead-up to Christmas.

“This is coming at the worst possible time as there are significant pressures on Vinnies’ services that are driving demand up,” he said.

“We are at a point where emergency COVID unemployment payments are being withdrawn and those people will lose the safety net that was keeping them housed and fed.”


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