Why NSW’s Current Reff Number Of 1.3 Makes It Almost Certain Lockdown Won’t End In September


There’s no doubt that getting vaccinated massively reduces your chance of spreading, being hospitalised with or dying of COVID-19. But with the way things are going in NSW, Sydney is still unlikely to fully exit lockdown even when 70% of us are vaccinated by late September.

At the daily coronavirus presser on Thursday morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian mentioned that while those of us who are fully vaxxed will get “the opportunity to do something that they can’t do now” when we hit the 6-million-jab milestone, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be completely in the clear.

“What we want to be very clear about is that September and October will be difficult for New South Wales. We’ve never shied away from that in recent weeks,” the Premier stressed, after the state recorded a new daily record of 681 cases.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that NSW could bef hit by over 2,000 cases per day by mid-September if we don’t get the current Reff number down. What’s the Reff number, you ask? Reff stands for effective reproduction rate, which is how quickly the virus spreads.

NSW curretly has a Reff number of 1.3, which means for every ten people with the virus, they’ll collectively spread it to another 13 more people.

“Our key focus at the present time is driving that [Reff number] down below 1,”  NSW Health official Dr Marianne Gale said at Thursday’s daily coronavirus press conference.

“And that’s the absolute focus. We have to get the case numbers down.”

With the virus still on an upward trajectory, vaccines alone won’t be enough to lift the lockdown overnight.

It’s worth keeping in mind that this Reff number of 1.3 is for the whole of NSW. For the Western Sydney suburbs of concern – Merrylands, Guildford, Auburn, Granville, Lidcombe and Greenacre – that number is likely even higher.

“And that’s the primary focus at the present time, to really drive that rate of transmission down in those areas and that’s why it’s so important for all residents of New South Wales but particularly in the LGAs of concern to follow the public health orders, ” Dr Gale added.

Y’all know the deal: “Do not leave home unless you have to. Do not visit other households. Get tested as soon as you can and get vaccinated with any vaccine that’s available to you as soon as you possibly can.”

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.