NSW has recorded 681 local COVID-19 cases overnight, once again smashing the state’s daily record. While a lot of those are household contacts, a massive 511 cases are still under investigation.

The areas of most concern are still the Western Sydney suburbs of Merrylands, Guildford, Auburn, Granville, Lidcombe and Greenacre.

“These areas have had the fastest growth and it doesn’t mean there are not other areas, but these ones are the main ones,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at the daily coronavirus press conference on Thursday morning.

“We ask people in these communities to stay at home, but also assume that the second you leave your home, you have the virus or anybody you come into contact with has it.”

Berejiklian urged young people in these areas to take advantage of the extra Pfizer doses which have been earmarked specifically for Western Sydney.

Outside of Sydney, the state-wide lockdown in regional NSW has been extended until August 28 at the earlier, which is in line with Greater Sydney.

“In western New South Wales, we remain concerned with the cases bubbling along, especially around Wilcannia and Dubbo,” Berejiklian said.

Once again, the most important thing we can all do – aside from staying home if you’re not an essential worker – is to get vaccinated ASAP if you haven’t already.

“I know these are challenging times, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Berejiklian added.

“They are difficult times for all of us, the next few weeks will be hard, but no doubt that once we get those high vaccination rates life will feel much better, it will look much rosier.”

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.

Image: Nine