Coronavirus Australia: NSW records 136 new COVID cases
NSW has reported one death and 136 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, an outbreak high, almost four weeks after Greater Sydney and its surrounds were locked down in a bid to suppress the virus.
“This is a national emergency,” the state’s Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said on Friday.
Of the new cases recorded to 8pm on Thursday, at least 70 were not in isolation for all or part of their infectious period.
The isolation status of another 13 persons is under investigation.
The death of an 89-year-old man takes the NSW tally to 62 and the national death toll to 916.
“There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
“It is fairly apparent that we will not be close to zero by next Friday.”
At a national cabinet meeting on Friday, the premier will push for the national vaccination strategy to refocus on Sydney - particularly hotspots in the city’s west and southwest.
“Fortunately, one thing that has become apparent during the last few weeks is that barely anybody with two doses of the vaccine is having acquired a serious illness,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Both vaccines, are working. We need to get more of them into arms, even if it is a first jab.”
Stricter, local lockdown orders will also be expanded to those living or working in the Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas, in line with orders already imposed on residents in the Liverpool and Fairfield areas.
No one can leave those areas unless they are a critical worker, which includes health and aged care workers.
Since lockdown was introduced on June 25 for four Sydney local government areas, and then expanded to the entire region the next day, infections have spread to Orange in the central west and interstate to Victoria.
Three local government areas - Orange, Blayney and Cabonne - in regionals NSW are in lockdown until at least July 28.
The Greater Sydney lockdown was due to end on July 30.
NSW health authorities are also concerned the virus has spread to northern NSW after fragments were detected at a sewage treatment plant serving Byron Bay, Wategos, Suffolk Park, Sunrise and Broken Head.
There are no confirmed cases in the area, so far.
NEW ZEALAND TO SUSPEND TRAVEL BUBBLE WITH AUSTRALIA
New Zealand is expected to suspend travel ties with Australia as several states deal with coronavirus outbreaks.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to announce the decision after a cabinet meeting on Friday.
“Cabinet is meeting to check in on the arrangements with Australia, given the situation there,” her office said in a statement.
“This has been planned for several days and we will give an update on this discussion on Friday.”
Australia is grappling with serious coronavirus outbreaks in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, with a local case also recorded in Queensland.
More than 14 million people are in lockdown across the country.
NO NEW CASES IN WA
Western Australia has recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight.
Fourteen active COVID-19 cases continue to be monitored by WA Health, while 10 cases remain aboard the BBC California which is currently berthed at Fremantle Port . There are also four cases in hotel quarantine.
Yesterday, 13,575 West Australians received a COVID-19 vaccination – 6962 of those were second doses. These figures represent vaccinations at State-run clinics and doses given as part of the Federal rollout.
ONE NEW CASE IN SA VIRUS CLUSTER
South Australia has reported just one new case in its current COVID-19 cluster, with the person involved linked a winery north of Adelaide.
The positive result takes the current outbreak to 15 confirmed infections. Eight are linked to the Tenafeate Creek winery near One Tree Hill.
A number of other cases are linked to The Greek restaurant in Adelaide after some infected people attended a birthday party last weekend.
Both the restaurant and the winery are considered superspreader events.
Premier Steven Marshall says Friday’s result comes on the back of another day of record testing with 23,572 swabs processed on Thursday.
He says it’s cause for optimism but officials will still need to monitor the situation as the state’s week-day lockdown continues.
“It’s early days. We’re day three, but all of the early indications are positive,” he said.
QUEENSLAND RECORDS NEW CASE
A new COVID-19 case has been infectious in Brisbane, Gladstone and on six flights across the Queensland for the last 12 days.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles says the female QantasLink flight attendant who lives in the northern Brisbane suburb Banyo of tested positive with the Delta variant on Wednesday.
The woman crewed six flights between Brisbane, Gladstone, Longreach and Hervey Bay between July 11 and July 13.
“It is absolutely urgent that we get every passenger on those flights tested as soon as possible, Queensland Health is standing up testing capacity in those locations,” Mr Miles told reporters.
It is uncertain where the woman was infectious while in Brisbane but she did stay the night at the Mercure Hotel in Gladstone on July 11.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says it’s uncertain where else the women may have been in the state or where she picked up the virus, but she has previously travelled to NSW.
“We’ll then have to work that through, where else the risk has happened,” she told reporters.
“But it’s the same as always please anyone with any symptoms at all, any symptoms at all, anywhere in the state of Queensland come forward and immediately get tested, so we can find people early. “
Meanwhile, long queues of traffic have formed at Queensland’s border with NSW after it was shut at 1am on Friday.
Queensland has declared a bubble for NSW communities as far south as Grafton, and as far west as the South Australian, border to allow residents to cross for essential purposes without quarantining.
The state government had been warning Queensland residents for weeks against all travel to NSW.
VICTORIA RECORDS 14 NEW CASES, ALL LINKED
Victoria has recorded just 14 local COVID-19 cases, all of them linked to known outbreaks.
The state’s department of health said 10 of the 14 cases recorded in Friday’s figures were in quarantine throughout their entire infectious period.
One of the four remaining cases has yet to be interviewed by contact tracers.
The lower figure adds to hopes Victoria’s extended restrictions may be eased as promised on July 27.
Victoria on Thursday administered 14,302 vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, 41 workers at a Melbourne hospital have been temporarily stood down after a fellow staffer worked a shift while infectious.
The staffer worked one shift sterilising instruments at Casey Hospital during their infectious period but wore PPE and did not have any contact with patients, Professor Rhonda Stuart from Monash Health told ABC Radio Melbourne on Friday.
“We’re really comfortable that this is a very low risk exposure,” she said.
Meanwhile, a popular Melbourne market will reopen on Friday after a COVID- positive shopper forced it to shut.
One of the 26 new local cases reported in Victoria on Thursday spent almost 90 minutes at Prahran Market and Market Lane Coffee last Saturday.
The entire market was listed as a tier-one site exposure site, with about 900 people who visited during the time period required to get tested and self- isolate for 14 days.
Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said on Thursday it was too early to say whether Victoria’s lookdown would end as planned at 11.59pm on July 27, but he is confident authorities have a handle on the outbreak.
“I’m feeling like we’re certainly winning the race, it’s a question of just keeping going so hard to the finish line,” he said.
There are more than 19,000 primary close contacts self-isolating across the state, and about 400 exposure sites, with a shopping centre, Woolworths, Coles and cake shop in Malvern added as tier-two sites.
NSW - 136 NEW CASES
VIC - 14 NEW CASES
WA - ZERO NEW CASES
QLD - ONE NEW CASE
SA - ONE NEW CASE
TAS - TBA
NT - TBA
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