Sydney’s two-week lockdown will continue for another week to midnight, Friday, July 16, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced.
The decision came following 27 new COVID-19 cases were identified in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday. Only 13 of those cases were in isolation during their infectious period.
NSW recorded 27 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. pic.twitter.com/pUprrXHpRE
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 7, 2021
The Premier said that she expects those numbers to rise on Thursday.
Most of the new cases have been spread among households.
“This Delta strain is a game changer. It is extremely transmissible and more contagious than any other virus — form of the virus that we’ve seen,” the Premier said
“The reason why the NSW government has taken this position is because we don’t want to be in a situation where we are constantly having to move between lockdown, no lockdown, lockdown, no lockdown.”
Berejiklian said they understood the stress the additional lockdown placed on individuals, families and businesses.
“But what would be far worse is being in a situation where you have to live in and out of lockdown until that period of time when we have the vaccine available to us,” she said.
“That is not a way to live and we want to give our citizens the best chance of staying safe and healthy but also making sure our businesses survive and thrive moving forward until that vaccination period is upon us.”
There are 37 patients currently in hospital, with 14 under the age of 55. There are seven in ICU and two on respirators.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said eight of those hospitalisations are people aged under 35.
“Again, dispelling that myth that it only leads to hospitalisation for the elderly,” she said.
“Of the seven people in ICU, one is in their 30s. A bit of a wake-up call to young people. one in their 50s, two in their 60s and three in their 70s.”
Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool council areas in southwest Sydney are the region’s new infection hotspots.
The latest infections have occurred in those areas.
Dr Chant said they are particularly concerned about the suburbs of Bosley Park, Smithfield, Fairfield, West Hoxton, Bass Hill, St Johns Park, Canning Vale, and Greenfield Park.
“In those communities, we are asking you to just redouble your efforts. Please stay at home,” she said.
“Do not visit loved ones. Try and engage through digital means. Try and avoid any unnecessary contact with other additional households and please limit your movements into any indoor environments. So only have one person go and get the shopping. As the premier has indicated, if you have got enough food, don’t leave the house at this time.”
Dr Chant said the staying at home will allow our contact tracers to identify people that may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that we can reduce the number of unknown people in the community.
“The other message is if you actually do have to move about in those locations, please do not assume someone is unknowingly infectious standing next to you,” she said.
Dr Chant said that earlier lockdowns would probably have not changed the current spread because of workplace seeding incidents had already occurred allowing the virus to spread.
Premier Berejiklian said the government is considering if they need to go to “the next stage” on restrictions.
The same restrictions currently in place across both Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour and regional NSW will remain in place until next Friday.
Face-to-face learning will resume in regional NSW when school returns on Tuesday, July 13.
Learning will be online for schools and students in Greater Sydney from Tuesday, July 13 for four days.
Schools will remain open for students who need them and no child will be turned away from school.
All students will return to the classroom on Monday, July 19.
The Premier said that the reason they decided to delay face-to-face learning next week was not because schools aren’t a safe place, but to reduce mobility around greater Sydney.
“We need to stop literally hundred of thousand of adults moving around and interacting with each other inadvertently as they drop kids off, pick kids up at those usual times and whilst the virus is more contagious in children, or this strain is, than we have seen previous strains, our main concern is too many people being mobile at the same time and having those interactions,” Berejiklian said.
In the next few days the NSW Government will detail a plan for exiting from restrictions to provide some certainty to the community and businesses in the weeks and months ahead.
For the latest information visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Good news for Victoria
Meanwhile, there’s good news today for long-suffering Melbourne residents, with no new infections again today and the state government reducing restrictions in the capital’s metropolitan area from midnight tomorrow night.
From Friday, July 9, restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne will be in line with regional Victoria.
Masks can come off if you work in an office or factory and for students at school, but remain on for anyone in a customer-facing job.
The one person per two square metres rule applies statewide, including hospitality, gyms and physical recreation venues, community facilities, creative studios and places of worship – provided a COVID check-in marshal is on-site to make sure people are checking in.
Dance floors can have no more than 50 people can be on the dance floor at any one time.
Crowd numbers will increase at approved public events. Outdoor stadiums can go to 75% of their capacity, up to 40,000 people, and indoor stadiums can open to 75% of capacity, up to 7,500 people.
Theatres will also open to 75% of capacity, up to 2,000 people.
These settings will be in place for 14 days. More details at coronavirus.vic.gov.au