A Dubbo person with COVID-19 has died.
It's one of 30 COVID-related deaths recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.
During the 24 hours there were 342 new cases identified in the Western NSW Local Health District via PCR test.
It includes 89 cases in the Dubbo local government area, of which two are in Wellington.
There were also 81 cases identified in Orange and 45 in Bathurst.
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Across the health district there are currently 34 people with COVID-19 in hospital and one who is in intensive care.
WNSWLHD chief executive Mark Spittal said the number of people we know have COVID should not be the measure people use to assess the risk they and the community face.
"Far more compelling numbers that maybe get less attention, are the number of people across the district who are getting booster shots, the children being vaccinated and the number of people who are in hospital who have COVID-19," Mr Spittal said.
"In recent weeks, we have seen upward of 40 people in hospital with COVID-19 on any given day but that number has not increased at anywhere near the same rate as known case numbers in Western NSW. That shows vaccination is working.
"Yes, there are people in hospital who are vaccinated but the sheer number of people with COVID-19 in the community means that is no surprise.
"When you look at the most seriously unwell people across NSW, and adjust for those people who are in ICU for reasons other than COVID-19 alone, it becomes starkly clear that it is unvaccinated people who end up in ICU solely due to COVID-19. Thankfully, we will never know how many more people might have fallen seriously ill if we didn't have such strong community vaccination coverage.
"Compared to the number of cases across the District, upward of 40 people in hospital may not seem like a lot but altogether it is still enough to fill the inpatient beds in two or three of our Multipurpose Service, or almost a third of Bathurst Base Hospital. It's more than the number of people in an average hospital ward, every day."
He urged people to get vaccinated or if they were due, to get their booster shot.
Testing for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or those who are a close contact, is available at the Dubbo Showground between 10am and 4pm.
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