Coronavirus Australia: NSW records 177 new cases as lockdown is extended by four weeks
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed Sydney's lockdown will be extended for another four weeks after the state recorded 177 new COVID cases and one death.
Stay at home orders will remain in place until August 28 for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Shellharbour and Wollongong.
“In the last few days, it would have not been possible for us to get out of lockdown tomorrow or Friday and given also the advice, it would not have been realistic for the NSW government to make a decision in the next two weeks given where we are today,” she said on Wednesday.
Of the 177 cases recorded in the 24-hours to 8pm on Tuesday, 68 were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period.
NSW has also recorded an 11th death since the Delta outbreak began in Bondi after a woman aged in her 90s died at Liverpool Hospital on Tuesday.
Wednesday marks the first day adults aged 18 to 39 can book an AstraZeneca jab at participating pharmacies while they can also book with NSW vaccination hubs from Friday.
In NSW, 30.4 per cent of the population has now received their first dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca.
Some 13.1 per cent of the population - 1.07 million residents - have received two doses.
Business NSW is calling on greater support for business as the lockdown hits hard.
“JobSaver is a good package that needs to be broadened and expanded as it only has a maximum of $10,000 in weekly support,” chief executive Daniel Hunter said on Wednesday.
“This is too small for heavily impacted businesses, particularly medium and larger enterprises who employ more staff.”
A new poll has found NSW voters are mostly happy with the premier’s handling of the crisis, with 56 per cent satisfied and 33 per cent dissatisfied with her performance.
The poll of 1600 NSW voters on Monday by Utting Research was published in The Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of the national vaccine rollout left 62 per cent of voters surveyed unsatisfied.
ONE NEW COVID CASE RECORDED IN WA
WA Health has reported one new case of COVID-19 overnight. This case is the third crew member from the container vessel MV Darya Krishna who was transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital on Monday and was not included in yesterday’s case numbers.
The State’s total stands at 1051.
There are now ten active COVID-19 cases being monitored by WA Health, including one in hotel quarantine; three in hospital linked to the MV Darya Krishna and six on onboard the MV BBC California, which berthed at Fremantle several weeks ago.
VICTORIA RECORDS EIGHT NEW LOCAL CASES AS LOCKDOWN LIFTED
Victoria has recorded eight new local COVID-19 cases as the state emerges from its fifth lockdown, albeit with a raft of restrictions retained.
All the new locally acquired cases reported on Wednesday are linked to Victoria’s current outbreaks and were in isolation for their entire infectious period.
It’s the fourth day in a row no new cases have spent any time in the community while infectious.
There are now 198 infections linked to the outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant, which originated from NSW.
More than 35,000 test results were received in the 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday, while 19,349 vaccine doses were administered at state-run sites during the same period.
It comes as Victorians wake to a taste of freedom on Wednesday after its 12-day statewide lockdown was lifted.
Victorians can now travel any distance and leave their homes for any reason, but masks will remain compulsory indoors and outdoors.
A ban on home gatherings remains, however people are able to gather outside in groups of 10.
Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service only, with a maximum cap of 100 per venue and density quotas of one person per four square metres, while smaller venues are limited to 25 people.
Retail, live music venues and gyms can also throw open their doors with strict density limits, workers may return to offices at 25 per cent capacity and students can return to school.
But the business community is warning many venues may not be able to open under the new rules, which are expected to remain in place for two weeks.
Despite the end of lockdown, Premier Daniel Andrews warned the fight against the Delta variant is “not over”.
“We’ve got to be vigilant against this virus, the Delta strain, in the days and weeks and months ahead until we get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the state was on the cusp of containing its Delta outbreak but it isn’t “mission accomplished” just yet.
QUEENSLAND RECORDS ONE NEW LOCAL CASE
Queensland has recorded a new local COVID-19 case who has been infectious in the community in Brisbane for six days, and 19 new infections have been reported on a ship offshore.
The man completed hotel quarantine in Brisbane on July 17 and then stayed at a backpacker hotel in the CBD before becoming unwell and getting tested on Monday.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says the man has likely been infectious in the community since last Thursday.
“Now we will go and contact trace the people in that backpackers’ hotel and other people that this gentleman’s been in contact with,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
“Now this is our 13th incursion of the virus into the community in Queensland over the last six weeks, so it is becoming increasingly concerning that we are having these repeated incursions of the virus into Queensland.”
Dr Young said that the hotel quarantine system was clearly insufficient in containing the Delta variant of COVID-19.
She had also asked for all politicians in the state to be prioritised for vaccination due to the risk of them bringing the virus from Brisbane into the regions.
“I think this is escalating now, we have had 13 incursions of the virus into the community, into the Queensland community over the last six weeks,” she said.
“That is more than we’ve seen before for a long time, so I’m very worried.
“And most of those have been the Delta variant, so I just want to manage every single risk that I can think of as much as I can.”
Authorities have also recorded another 19 COVID-19 cases on a ship off the state’s coast after 17,816 tests overnight.
Dr Young said the ship is due to arrive in Weipa on Wednesday and the sick crew members will be transferred to hospitals on shore for treatment.
SA HAS NO NEW CASES AS LOCKDOWN ENDS
South Australia has reported no new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row after emerging from its seven-day lockdown.
Premier Steven Marshall says the result is great news and puts SA in an enviable position as people go back to work and back to school.
“The people of South Australia should be able to feel a great sense of pride over what we have achieved of the past seven days,” he said.
“But we’re not out of the woods yet. We still have a large number of people in directed quarantine.”
The premier confirmed a range of new restrictions will stay in place for at least a week including the “new normal” of wearing masks in most situations.
All food and drink consumption must be seated and dancing and singing remain banned.
Family gatherings are limited to 10 people, although weddings and funerals can have up to 50.
Schools are open and sports training can resume, but competitions will be delayed until August 7.
Mr Marshall said “my heart goes out” to NSW at the moment with 177 new virus infections reported there on Wednesday.
NSW - 177 NEW LOCAL CASES
VIC - EIGHT NEW LOCAL CASES
QLD - ONE NEW LOCAL CASE
WA - ONE NEW CASE FROM COVID SHIP
SA - ZERO NEW CASES
NT - TBA
ACT - TBA
TAS - TBA
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