With a Sunday tally of 105 locally acquired cases, New South Wales has just recorded its third highest number of new daily infections since the Delta outbreak began on June 16.
Breaking down the numbers at the daily press conference the state’s Chief Health Officer said the key number of those infectious in the community was “still stubbornly” sitting at 27.
“There are currently 76 COVID cases admitted to hospital with 18 people in intensive care, seven of whom require ventilation,” Kerry Chant said.
The state also recorded the fourth fatality linked to the latest outbreak, a woman in her 90s from south-eastern Sudney.
Over 66,000 tests were recorded in the past 24 hours, with the CHO questioned around long waits on testing results.
“We have seen high number of testing. We have heard of testing taking three days to return a result?” a reporter asked, to which Dr Chant replied admitting “some slippage in turnaround times”.
“It varies. We have set up some very, very fast rapid testing for close contacts, particularly in the south-western Sydney with extremely rapid turnaround times but we have to reserve that for that very targeted group.”
A set of sweeping new restrictions were announced on Saturday in a bid to “quash” the virus. And one of the state’s biggest industries has not escaped the immediate impact.
“I am not embarrassed to say that in public life, yesterday was probably the most difficult day I’ve had personally because we don’t take these decisions lightly,” Gladys Berejiklian said.
Up to half a million construction workers will be out of work from Monday, after the Premier announced that all construction in Greater Sydney would be put on hold for the next two weeks, citing “unfortunately a big risk” posed by the mobility of workers to sites.
“I don’t think there is anybody who wants to see this lockdown last longer than it needs to. That is why we are throwing everything at it because we have a two-week window when we are in a hard lockdown to be able to crush this thing.”
Meanwhile, residents of the Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury Bankstown were told of a new direction targeting them, allowing only those working in emergency or health occupations to travel to work.
But overnight to Sunday the list of ‘authorised workers’ in the three south-west Sydney Local Governement Areas, was expanded.