All eyes are on New South Wales, which recorded 110 new infections on Wednesday. From these, 43 were active in the community, 17 were around others for a shorter period of time and contact tracers do not know how 56 others caught the virus.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW state government was working with experts, who were doing all they could to contain the latest outbreak.

In Sydney, efforts to stop the Delta strain from spreading are being undermined by the lag between the dentification of exposures sites with contact tracers taking more than a week to find these. For instance, contact tracers still do not know how 56 have caught the virus and in one case, it took 13 days for a high-risk venue to be identified after it was disposed.

There were 35 new sites added to the list on Wednesday – eight of which were exposed from 10-14 July, more than a week ago.

READ MORE: Australian government prepares for international travel, explores vaccine approvals but stops short of mandatory jabs

Victoria notes 26 infection

Victoria recorded another jump in new local cases of COVID-19 on Thursday with 26 new infections detected.

The state’s Health Department said all 26 cases were linked to current outbreaks, and only two of the cases were not in quarantine throughout their entire infectious period.

On Wednesday, more than 43,600 tests were conducted.

The Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the state’s lockdown helped the case numbers remain low.

“Can you imagine what the situation we could be in if we hadn’t locked down, when we locked down – if those 22 individuals were all out in the community, not just for a day, but for their entirety infectious period?” Professor Sutton asked.

“If you do not lockdown that is what happens.”

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said the state needed to avoid its numbers spiralling out of control as has been the case in Sydney, and the current lockdown in the state is due to end at 11.59pm on Tuesday, 27 July.

READ MORE: “We wish them well” Daniel Andrews hints at Sydney’s part for avoiding future lockdowns

South Australia continues lockdown

A day into South Australia’s lockdown, there were 12 positive cases recorded in the state, with six of these revealed on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking to Adelaide ABC’s on Thursday morning, South Australia’s Premier said there was “no serious escalation whatsoever from the briefing this morning”.

Five of the new cases are connected to the Tenafeate Creek winery at Yattalunga, north of Adelaide. Of these, one concerns a man in his 40s, who also attended a school at Gawler on Monday.

The sixth is a child under five, and is linked to the Greek restaurant in the city where a number of people dined over the weekend.

Both the Greek restaurant and winery are considered superspreader sites in South Australia.

Exposure sites in the state have climbed to more than 50, mostly in Adelaide’s north and northeastern suburbs.