Sydney News: Expert warns back-to-school period should be delayed to allow more time for vaccinations

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Expert says back to school must be delayed

Sarah Palmer says “letting it rip” in schools will lead to more hospitalizations.(Provided: Westmead Institute)

A virologist warns that sending children back to school without the opportunity to be vaccinated will lead to more hospitalizations.

Many parents say they were unable to secure immunization appointments for their children until school resumed on January 28.

Sarah Palmer, co-director of the Center for Virus Research at the Westmead Institute, said that with a record number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, it could have serious ramifications.

“The large number of infections and the contagiousness of the Omicron variant means that many more children would be infected and a number of children would end up in hospital,” she said.

“Delaying the opening of the school so that the children can have at least one vaccination would be very important.

“[Letting] this virus is tearing apart and overloading the medical system, I don’t think that’s the way to go. “

Lithgow floods

Lithgow St. Patrick's Church
St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lithgow had to use a pump to expel the floodwaters.(Provided: St Patrick’s Catholic Church)

The State Emergency Service (SES) says dozens of homes and businesses have been affected by flash flooding in Lithgow, west of the Blue Mountains.

A thunderstorm cell that dropped 72 millimeters of rain in less than an hour moved through the area last night, damaging at least 45 homes and businesses.

Crews worked through the night to erase some of the damage. SES chief inspector Joshua Clarke said the level of rainfall took people by surprise.

“The storms swept through the region from Dubbo, through Mudgee and down to Lithgow, and while the storm was not unexpected, the amount of rain it produced was,” he said. .

“The businesses along Lithgow Main Street have been hit, with water flooding and also a lot of leaky roofs and some tree work, so there is a bit of variety.”

A woman with dementia is missing

Guo Ming Wu
Guo Ming Wu is known to frequent the Campsie region on foot.(Provided: New South Wales Police)

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate an elderly woman reported missing in southwest Sydney.

Guo Ming Wu, 86, was last seen at her home on Sixth Avenue, Campsie, around 10:30 a.m. yesterday.

She went for a walk but has never returned and her family is concerned for her well-being as she lives with dementia.

Police sent a geo-targeting text message yesterday evening to residents of the Campsie area, asking them to monitor Ms. Wu.

She is described as Asian in appearance, measuring about 150 centimeters, thin build, with gray hair down to the shoulders.

She was last seen wearing a floral shirt and dark colored pants. She walks with a slight limp and communicates mainly in Mandarin.

A teenager allegedly attacked the paramedics

A teenager has been charged after allegedly assaulting two paramedics on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Emergency services were called to Pittwater Road in North Narrabeen last night after a man was found asleep behind a bus shelter.

Police say the man became verbally aggressive and assaulted two paramedics after helping him get into the back of an ambulance.

The 16-year-old has been charged and will appear in juvenile court today.

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