UPDATE 3/7: In a press conference this morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed there have been 35 new community transmitted cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
Overnight, 56,000 people came forward for a COVID-19 test with 35 coming back positive. Of that 35, only nine were found to be infectious while within the community. The remaining 26 cases were in isolation either during or part of their infectious period.
NSW Health says that the centre of community transmission is now in the Auburn and outer Sydney areas.
Fortunately, testing numbers have stayed high during the lockdown, which Berejiklian said gives NSW Health “a great degree of confidence.”
“Please avoid shopping centres and indoor venues.”
“I’m absolutely concerned that the weekend’s good weather and the fact we’ve all been cooped up all week means that people will let their guards down. We’d much prefer people go outside than inside and social distance the right way.”
While the weather may be nice today, NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant urged people to minimise their time at retail and shopping centres and to only walk around the block of their homes with the people they live with.
“You can go walk your dog, don’t talk to your neighbours.”
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller added that there have been 78 personal infringement notices in the last 24 hours, as well as 350 reports to Crimestoppers. One report includes a group of people who got together to do a burnout.
Update 27/6: This morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed 50,000 people have come forward for a COVID-19 test, with 30 cases coming back positive as of 8PM last night. The additional 30 cases, brings the total cases from the Bondi cluster to 110.
One case, NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant added, visited a vaccination clinic at Westmead hospital before learning they were infectious. The person wore a mask and did not re-enter the waiting room.
While all cases are linked, a number of them, NSW Health understands, were in the community while still infectious. 11 were already in isolation by the time they came up positive.
Berejilkian also warned that the worst may still be yet to come, as the virus spreads to people living with those infected.
“We want to anticipate that case numbers will likely increase,” she said.
Chant added: “A majority of COVID cases are in special health accommodation or treated out of hospital care.”
Today’s press conference comes after the NSW Premier announced a two-week lockdown for the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, and Wollongong regions. Here’s everything you can and can’t do for the next two weeks.
ORIGINAL 26/6: Sydney’s lockdown will likely be extended after NSW Health reported 29 new exposure cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, several of which come from exposure sites outside of the four Local Government Areas (LGAs) under lockdown.
In a press conference this morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed that NSW Health screened 55,000 tests in the last 24 hours but “unfortunately that’s where the good news ends.”
The public health unit recorded 12 additional cases in Sydney this morning, following another 17 last night. This means that there have now been 82 local cases since the initial case within the Bondi cluster on the 21st of June which saw a driver who transported an international flight crew test positive for the Delta variant. 20 of these cases are also linked to the West Hoxton Park birthday party.
What’s particularly distressing here is a number of the new exposure sites have emerged outside of the four LGAs that are currently under strict lockdown and that there’s a “potential of people being infectious in those areas for a couple of days.
“There is concern these cases have been exposed for a number of days without people knowing,” Berejiklian said.
The major exposure site right now is Great Ocean Foods, a seafood wholesaler at 5-11 Cadogan Street, Marrickville. NSW Health says that a workplace outbreak has occurred from that venue. Anyone who has visited or been in contact with someone from the venue between Monday, the 21st of June to Friday, the 25th of June is now a close contact and must isolate immediately.
It’s also believed that some people did not check-in at the location—meaning that there may be more unlinked cases—and that a delivery driver associated with the wholesaler is also infectious.
“Anyone who received a delivery from Great Ocean Food from Mon 21st to Friday 25th of June, that person plus their household members must immediately isolate and get tested,” Dr. Chant said.
Anyone who has visited the following locations is considered a close contact and must immediately self-isolate for 14 days and get tested:
Marrickville: Great Ocean Foods, 5-11 Cadogan St, Monday 21st June – Friday 25th June
Sydney: Cheers Bar & Grill, 561 George St, Sunday 20th June, 1:45 AM to 3:30 AM
Bankstown: Rebel, Bankstown Shopping Centre, North Terrace, Thursday 24th June, 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM
Anyone who has visited the following locations at the times listed is considered a casual contact and must immediately get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received. Please continue to monitor for symptoms and immediately isolate and get tested if they develop:
Sydney: Paloma Espresso Café, Shop 1 Ground floor 10 Shelley St, Monday 21st June, 1:50 PM to 12:55 PM
Casula: Oporto, Casula Central Shopping Complex, 16/633 Hume Hwy, Tuesday 22nd June, 12:50PM to 12:55PM
Casula: Pasta Italia Cucina, Casula Central Shopping Complex, 12A/633, 639 Hume Hwy, Tuesday 22nd June 1 PM to 1:10 PM.
These new cases are all related to the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant. As NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in today’s presser, it’s a “very formidable foe” and “knows how to counteract in various locations.”
“That’s causing us a high level of concern.”
“You’re more likely to pass it to all of your close contacts, previously the variants were 30-40 percent,” added Berejiklian.
“Previously, one to two people in your proximity were getting it, now we’re seeing all of the members of your household.”
The highly contagious nature of the variant also means that those living with people under lockdown (namely, people who work within the City of Sydney or other LGAs but live outside of them) must also isolate till next Thursday.
Gladys, who added that she herself is avoiding seeing her parents during this time, stressed that people who transferred the virus without knowing have experienced unnecessary guilty.
NSW Health administered 18,088 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours prior to 8 PM last night. When asked if fully vaccinated people were exempt from the current lockdown measures, Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said it is “too soon for that.”
“We know the vaccine is affecting against serious disease.
“Once we get the population vaccine, which unfortunately is a while off, we don’t want that to occur until we vaccine the adult population and unrolling it for children.”
More news is expected to be announced after a crisis Cabinet meeting held by Premier Berejiklian later today, including whether the lockdown will be extended—both in terms of extending it beyond the current end date of Thursday, 1st of July, and extending it beyond the four previously mentioned LGAs.
As always, stay at home, get tested, only go out for necessary essentials and wear a mask whenever outside. Stay tuned for more info.