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One week into full lockdown, 35 new cases of community transmission were recorded on Saturday, nine of which were infectious during their time in the community.
“While, as predicted, the number of cases is going up, we are seeing a greater proportion of those cases in isolation, which is exactly what we want to see,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“The green shoots are there.”
However, Ms Berejiklian said it was “too soon” to confirm yet whether Greater Sydney’s lockdown would end on time.
“I anticipate that obviously some time next week we’ll be in a position to tell the community where things are at,” she said.
“We have seen the tide turn.”
She said authorities were confident that no chains of community transmission had been missed “at this stage”.
More than 56,000 people were tested yesterday, a result she said was “exactly what we want”.
Ms Berejiklian reiterated that the next few days were “critical” for controlling the outbreak, while urging people if they went outside to avoid shopping centres and other indoor venues.
“Let us not give up, but instead keep respecting what the stay-at-home orders and the lockdown mean,” she said.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said 29 of the new cases were linked to previous ones, including 14 household contacts.
Six cases remain under investigation.
Of the 35, 23 were in isolation throughout their infectious period, three were in isolation for part of their infectious period, and nine cases were infectious in the community.
One is a close contact of a student nurse who tested positive to COVID-19 earlier this week.
Dr Chant said the first nurse had worked while infectious at Fairfield Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital.
“Testing of her close contacts identified an additional eight cases across three linked households,” she said.
“Of those, five worked in aged care and healthcare and two had worked in Baulkham Hills while infectious.
“One had worked at Royal North Shore, Royal Ryde and Fairfield hospitals while infectious and the others had not worked while infectious.”
Dr Chant said follow-up investigations at the healthcare facilities had identified two further cases at Royal North Shore Hospital, including one today.
Today’s hospital case did not work while infectious and was fully vaccinated.
“There are therefore two cases who acquired their infection through healthcare exposure, but both had not worked while infectious,” she said.
“If we can detect cases, we can remove them from workplaces and make sure we do not see ongoing transmission.”
Ms Berejiklian again criticised the National Cabinet decision to slash airline arrivals by 50 percent as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
She said the number of people coming home did not change the risk, particularly with the “very transmissible” Delta variant in the community.
“I’m disappointed that the other state leaders didn’t see fit to maintain the number of Aussies coming back home,” she said.
“But of course we’ll respect what the National Cabinet decision was.”
New exposure sites released
Hundreds of shoppers were sent into isolation overnight after it was revealed a staff member at Coles Eastgate shopping centre in Bondi Junction worked while infectious.
The latest list of close contact exposure sites released yesterday by NSW Health spans right across Sydney, from Manly to Marrickville to Strathfield and Rockdale.
Venues include the Novotel Hotel in Manly, Strathfield Plaza Medical Centre, Woolworths Eastlakes, Australia Post Eastlakes, and The Coffee Emporium in Roselands.
Those who have visited the sites are being advised to get tested and isolate immediately for a full 14 days regardless of the result.
A further 18 casual exposure sites have also been listed, with anybody having visited those venues advised to also seek immediate testing.
Travellers in NSW from Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and certain local government areas in Queensland are now no longer under stay at home orders, however, people who have come from those locations within the last 14 days must still complete a declaration form.
Ms Berejiklian said Australia has the potential to catch up “very quickly” with the re-opening international community.
But she said until the majority of Australians were vaccinated, it wouldn’t be happening.
“Even though we’ve got a pause in the number of vaccines we’re getting out, come September, October, according to what the Commonwealth is telling us, we’re going to get a whole lot of supply,” she said.
“We need to make sure when the vaccines become available, that all states, including the one I lead, are ready to put those jabs in arms.”
78 infringement notices issued on Friday
Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys has said a NSW café could be shut down if it continues to defy public health orders.
Deputy Commissioner Worboys said police had “tried to work” with the café.
“There were infringement notices issued and more recently, one of the owners of the cafe was arrested and placed on bail conditions for working that cafe outside of the public health orders,” he said.
“Crime Stoppers reports, again from people in that area, and I guess people who want to use that café, came in about non-mask wearing and no QR coding requirements.”
He said health authorities had issued a show cause notice to the café owners as to why they should not shut down.
“The next step will be, if that cafe refuses to comply with the public health order, putting people’s health at risk, I am sure the health minister would be in the position to issue a closure notice under the Public Health Act to the premises,” he said.
Police issued 78 infringement notices yesterday, including to people who travelled from Sydney to the Jenolan Caves because they were “bored”.
Deputy Commissioner Worboys warned that reports coming in to Crime Stoppers of public health violations were increasing, showing people were willing to take action if they noticed breaches.