In what is a smidge of good news, Sydney is facing no new restrictions despite recording 18 new cases overnight and an outbreak occurring in NSW Parliament, of all places. That’s largely down to contract tracing. We love contract tracing! Can’t get enough.
NSW recorded 18 new local cases overnight, which includes the 13 people already announced yesterday plus six new cases recoded overnight (which will officially be included in tomorrow’s numbers). Essentially: it’s 18 minus 13 plus six. So, in real terms, it’s 11 new cases. (Things we don’t love: NSW Health forcing us all to do maths.)
However, all but one of those cases is linked to a previously known case or cluster. The unknown case is a man in his 40s, and urgent testing is underway. (Here’s the full list of exposure sites and official government advice.)
NSW recorded 18 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, 13 of which were already announced yesterday morning.— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) June 24, 2021
NSW Health has also been notified of six new locally acquired cases overnight. These cases will be included in tomorrow's numbers. pic.twitter.com/D7SVhhSF6z
And so, despite fears we’d be heading into lockdown by the end of the week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian didn’t announce any further restrictions today.
But: she hasn’t ruled it out. In fact, one might still be coming.
“This is perhaps the scariest period that New South Wales is going through,” she said at an outdoor presser today.
“It is a very contagious variant but at the same time we are at this stage comfortable that the settings that are in place are the appropriate settings, but that is so long as everybody does the right thing. Please be extra cautious.”
And if we do go into lockdown, it won’t be a three-day ‘snap’ lockdown like we’ve seen in previous outbreaks, due to the current strain being the more contagious Delta variant.
“Three days is not long enough,” NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
“If you have a look at the reasons for the three days, it is a pause where you are, you have a sudden surge of cases and you want everybody to stay in the same place, and that allows you to get any backlog of any contact tracing.”
It all comes as the outbreak officially hits NSW Parliament. Earlier today, NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall tested positive, with a number of elected officials – including Health Minister Brad Hazzard – identified as close contacts.
Only 16 ministers are permitted into the building today, including Berejiklian, who underwent rapid testing and has returned a negative result.
So. It’s not the worst news, but it’s also not the greatest news. Here’s a reminder of all the restrictions currently impacting Sydney, and as always: if you have even the mildest of symptoms, go get a test.