Details on whether the NSW lockdowns will be extended or not are set to be announced on Wednesday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed.
In her press conference on Tuesday, Gladys said that her team has been having “various discussions with health experts and others in the last few days”, which she expects will run through into Tuesday evening, before being able to update everyone on the future of the lockdowns at Wednesday’s presser.
The Premier’s pledge comes as NSW records 18 new cases of community transmission, with 11 of those already in isolation. Gladys confirmed that of the remaining seven cases, five of them were partially in isolation, while the other two were infectious in the community.
NSW recorded 18 new locally acquired cases of #COVID19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 6, 2021
Of these locally acquired cases, 16 are linked to a known case or cluster – nine are household contacts – and the source of infection for two cases remain under investigation. pic.twitter.com/apOPenadHa
At the time of writing, the state’s lockdowns – which have been in full effect across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas since June 26 – are due to end on Friday, July 9. But Gladys stressed that the daily case numbers need to drop significantly before the stay-at-home orders can be removed safely.
“The seven day average has been about 26. We have been seeing about 12 of those cases on average every day spending time in the community while infectious,” she said.
“We need to see those numbers come down. The longer they take to come down, self-evidently, the more likely it will take and this lockdown will need to be extended beyond this weekend.”
When Gladys was pressed on giving more information around the decisions her team and the state’s health experts are making, she said she didn’t want to announce anything until they were absolutely certain in their decision for the state.
She did, however, recognise the reduced number of new cases not already in isolation was what they had been hoping for in the second week of NSW’s lockdowns.
“Please know that they can’t give you any more information than what I am because I don’t want to say anything until we’re certain about what the health advice will be and what decisions we are making,” she said.
“The one thing that we are seeing which we hoped we would see less of is people being exposed in the community while they are infectious. That is the one issue which our health experts will focus in on.”
She also said that she wants this to be the last major lockdown that the state experiences until everyone is vaccinated against coronavirus, and especially the more infectious Delta strain.
“New South Wales wants this to be the last lockdown until we get the majority of our citizens vaccinated,” she said.
“The difference now to what occurred in the last year or so since we had the only other lockdown, is the Delta strain.
“This strain is different to what we have experience at if you look at other jurisdictions around the world, we can see that you can’t afford to let this get away from you.”
So all things going to plan, we should have a better idea about what’s happening with the NSW lockdowns by Wednesday afternoon. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we find out more. Until then, if you’re experiencing the slightest of symptoms, or if you attended one of the listed exposure locations, go and get a test and self-isolate.