Sydney will not escape lockdown until it achieves zero or “close to zero” cases of COVID-19 following the confirmation of 89 cases of the CCP virus in 24 hours, the NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Tuesday.
The premier said the new Delta variant is a “game changer” which will send Sydney into a lengthy lockdown, and regional NSW will also need to “sacrifice.”
“I’d love to have a crystal ball to say exactly when the end date will be, but that’s up to all of us,” Berejiklian said.
The news of the extended lockdown comes after a 70-year-old man from the Eastern suburbs died 4 days after he contracted COVID-19. NSW Health has not yet disclosed whether the man was vaccinated.
Berejiklian also stressed that residents in the Greater Sydney area are “not to visit other family members in other households,” noting that more than three-quarters of all those cases of community transmission were close family contacts.
People should also “assume” that anyone they interact with could be infectious, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant advised.
“Every time you leave your house, you have to assume that the person that you may be encountering at the shopping centre has got COVID, so act accordingly,” Chant said.
“Shop purposely. Minimise your time, put your mask on… Do not interact with others socially in any shopping centres that you’re going through,” she said.
People with the mildest symptoms or even a “scratchy throat” have also been told to get tested as the state authorities seek to suppress the virus.
The government will also ramp up testing and restrictions in Roseberry, Canterbury, Belmore, Sutherland Shire, the St George area, West Hoxton and Glenfield Green Valley, in addition to the Fairfield local government area, where 34 new cases have been recorded.
Hundreds Potentially Infected From Regional Outbreak
Meanwhile, regional NSW residents will have to continue abiding by the COVID restrictions currently in place.
This comes after an essential worker from Sydney tested positive to COVID-19 in the regional city of Goulbourn on Tuesday.
The worker, who was a member of a construction crew working on the $150 million upgrade to the Goulbourn Hospital, has been in isolation since Saturday but has potentially infected hundreds in the city with staff at the site and in the hospital advised to undergo testing.
Goulburn state MP Wendy Tuckerman wrote in a post on Facebook: ‘The construction site has been temporarily closed, and contact tracing is underway. Everyone at the worksite on 9 July, when the case was considered infectious, is isolating and being tested. At this stage, no staff or patients from Goulburn Hospital have been affected.”
She noted that the Principal Contractor for the redevelopment, Melbourne firm Hansen Yuncken, had explained that despite a commitment to procure workers from the local area, they had been forced to bring in workers from elsewhere due to the bushfire recovery works on the south coast, which had made the supply of tradespeople greatly reduced.
The construction site has also been managing COVID workplace policies and procedures, according to NSW Government advice, Tuckerman said.
Public health teams are completing a risk assessment of the construction site to provide further advice about possible exposure.