NSW has 19 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, a daily tally described as “pleasing” by Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Tuesday’s cases come from 67,000 people tested in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday.
They take the number of cases in the Sydney outbreaks to 149 and include 17 linked to existing clusters
The two remaining cases, one who lives in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and the other who works there, are under investigation. Seven of the new cases were in isolation for their infectious period.
Ms Berejiklian said it was “early days” but she was almost in a position to assess what NSW would look like at the end of its two-week lockdown.
“It is early days and I don’t want to regret what I am about to say but we anticipated potentially a surge in cases by today,” she said.
“That could very well happen in the next few days but it demonstrates to us that the health advice has been on the money.”
The latest update comes after 18 new infections on Monday.
Ms Berejiklian said the “steady” figure was welcome, but repeated her warning that numbers would “bounce around” as NSW got to grips with its COVID crisis.
Chief health officer Kerry Chant said cases continued to be diagnosed in people who had not been in isolation.
“What we’re hoping is because of the lockdown, the number of interactions those cases have had, where there is the potential for transmitting the virus, would have decreased significantly,” she said.
Deputy premier John Barilaro said the state had “lost control” of the highly contagious Delta strain.
“We’ve done a good job to this point that there’s no question at the end of last week we lost control of the Delta strain,” he said.
“You know hindsight’s a beautiful thing yeah absolutely we could have gone a week earlier three days earlier there will be debated if we should have gone earlier or not. We base it on advice.”
Dr Chant singled out three Sydney venues of particular concern. They are:
- Cristo Pizza, Paddington, Monday, June 21, 5.55-8.30pm
- Doncaster Hotel, Kensington, Wednesday, June 23, 5.45-8pm
- The Crossways Hotel, Strathfield South Wednesday, June 23, 7-10pm
“[At the Crossways,] the transmission occurred in someone outside their immediate social group that attended that hotel,” she said.
“That gives us greater cause for concern when other patrons are impacted.”
On Tuesday NSW Health issued alerts for another 10 venues visited by people diagnosed with the virus. They include Specsavers at Bondi Junction, McDonald’s at Bondi Beach, Macquarie Bank in Sydney’s CBD, Domino’s Pizza Rose Bay, IGA Blaxland and the Meriton Suites Hotel at Mascot.
There are also new infections linked to the Great Ocean Foods wholesaler in Marrickville and the West Hoxton Park “super-spreader” birthday party.
Dr Chant said authorities remained especially concerned about the virus’ spread across four Sydney local government areas.
“In the last 14 days, we are particularly wanting to focus on workers or
regular visitors to those local government areas of Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and City of Sydney,” she said.
“Clearly, during that period there was the chance that you may have inadvertently come into contact with someone who is positive, or there may well have been missing links, missing cases in that area.”
NSW Health has also alerted commuters on various Sydney trains and buses last week while Westfield Bondi Junction – the epicentre of the latest outbreak – remains of particular concern.
Those venues, plus scores more listed by NSW Health, have sent thousands of people into isolation.
Tuesday marked the third full day of a two-week hard lockdown for the greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions.
Millions of people can leave home only for work that can’t be done at home, to shop for essentials, for exercise, to seek medical care and for caregiving or compassionate reasons.
Businesses will receive thousands of dollars in grants and the NSW Dine and Discover voucher program for state residents will be expanded as part of the package.
“We know that our lockdown … has created much stress,” Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.
“We don’t want anyone to feel stressed during this lockdown that they won’t be able to manage their household situation or their business situation.”
Grants of $5000-$10,000 will be available to small businesses, depending on declines in turnover, during the health restrictions.
NSW residents will have until August 31 to spend their Dine and Discover vouchers, which can also be used for takeaway food orders.
School students in isolation
The lockdown was announced on Saturday afternoon after infections started seeping out of Sydney’s east into other areas.
More than 500 school students from South Coogee Public School are isolating after four of their classmates acquired the virus.
Another student, at Emanuel School in Randwick Sydney’s east, attended school whilst infectious.
On Monday night, a positive case was also uncovered in the Rose Bay Secondary College community, with about 1300 students and teachers ordered to self-isolate until further notice.