New South Wales has recorded its highest daily COVID-19 number in the current outbreak with 44 new cases, prompting Premier Gladys Berejiklian to tighten lockdown restrictions.
Even more concerningly for health authorities, the majority of those cases have not been in isolation while infectious.
Just 10 were in isolation throughout their infectious period, eight for part of the time and 19 have been out in the community. The isolation status of the remaining seven is still under investigation.
It marks another jump from yesterday’s record figure of 38 new coronavirus cases. At the time, it was the highest daily number in NSW in more than a year.
The figures have prompted a dire warning from Ms Berejiklian, who has told Sydneysiders to brace for even higher daily case numbers in the days ahead.
“The number of people that have been infectious in the community – last night it was 29 and I suspect it will grow tomorrow and the day after,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is so transmissible, (so) obviously we’re going to see higher cases moving forward.”
Ms Berejiklian also echoed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s message this morning that there was no way that NSW could live with the Delta variant in the community, given its current vaccination rate
“When you only have nine per cent of your community vaccinated, opening up before you get as close to that zero number as possible – it means you would subject thousands and thousands to hospitalisation and death,” she said.
“When we look around the world and we look at countries that are opening up, that are living freely with COVID and the Delta strain, they are able to do that because half of the population is vaccinated.”
Today’s figures have prompted a tightening of stay-at-home orders, with tougher rules now in place around outdoor exercise, essential shopping and funerals.
- Outdoor gatherings limited to two people (excluding members of same household)
- Exercise and outdoor recreation restricted to local government area or within 10km radius
- No browsing in shops; only one person per household per day can leave the house for shopping
- Funerals limited to 10 people (from Sunday)
- Restrictions in regional New South Wales remain unchanged.
“Browsing is not allowed,” Ms Berejiklian stressed.
“Whether you are in a supermarket or anywhere else buying essential items, you have to think about before you leave the home, can I get this online? Do I need to leave the house to go shopping?”
In what the premier has described as a “heartbreaking” decision, from Sunday funerals will be limited to 10 mourners.
Ms Berejiklian again stressed that no one should be visiting others’ households, except for essential care.
“The only exception is if you are receiving care by one person, dropping off essential goods or for health reasons or exceptional circumstances,” she said.