NSW has reported another 145 cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday amid appeals from chief health officer Kerry Chant for residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
It came as Victoria reported 11 new cases on Monday, all linked to known outbreaks.
In Sydney, Dr Chant said NSW needed “to break the back of this” outbreak and could do that in a number of ways.
The state’s lockdown is currently scheduled to end on July 30 but is widely expected to continue beyond that date in light of stubbornly high cases numbers.
The virus is largely being transmitted through the movement of essential workers in the west of the city and the mixing of households, with many cases circulating in the community for at least a portion of their infectious period.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would inform residents about the state’s future plans in the coming days and asked essential workers who had no choice but to leave their homes to comply with public health advice when in the community.
“Can I please ask that, if you do need to work … that you please make sure that you adhere to all the COVID safety plans – whether it’s wearing a mask, good hand hygiene, social distancing, all the other measures that are in place,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Because every time any of us step foot outside our house, we have to assume that we have the virus, or anybody that we remotely come into contact with has the virus.
“Can I also please stress how important it is for everybody to get vaccinated, please come forward and get vaccinated.”
Of the 145 new locally acquired cases in NSW, 66 have been linked to a known or cluster, 57 have been identified as household contacts and nine have been identified as close contacts.
The source of infection for 79 cases is still under investigation – marking the largest new addition of unlinked cases in one day – and many were in the community for at least a portion of their infectious period.
Fifty-eight cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 25 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period.
But 51 cases were infectious in the community for the duration of their infectious period and 11 cases remain under investigation.
NSW lockdown extension likely
Amid questions about the restrictions faced by the construction industry, Ms Berejiklian said it was too early to say whether some of the state’s public health settings would change on Friday.
But Dr Chant said there were too many infectious people in the community to announce a wholesale end to the lockdown as previously scheduled on Friday.
SA lockdown to end , VIC on track
As Ms Berejiklian fielded questions about the future of her state’s lockdown and vaccination program, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced SA’s lockdown would end at midnight on Tuesday after the state had just one new local case on Monday.
The 87-year-old man is linked to the Modbury cluster and was already in quarantine.
The news came after the Victorian government revealed on Monday morning that all of its 11 new local cases were linked to known outbreaks and had been in quarantine throughout their infectious periods.
State Health Minister Martin Foley said “nothing as yet has been finalised” in relation to the potential easing of restrictions on Tuesday night, but noted the state was on the right track to come out of lockdown.