Millions of Australians in four states and territories are waking up to snap COVID-19 lockdowns as authorities try to contain outbreaks of the highly contagious delta strain.
Two Fitness First gyms, a Crossways Hotel, and a Bunnings, Woolworths and Officeworks store are among more than two dozen venues that NSW Health alerted the public to just before midnight on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Queensland Health raised the alarm about 17 sites, including flights between Brisbane and Townsville and shops across the state.
On Wednesday morning, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles confirmed the younger brother of an infected receptionist at a Brisbane hospital has tested positive to the virus. He is in hospital in Brisbane but is said to be in good spirits.
Other members of the woman’s family are also unwell.
Here’s the latest on how the virus is affecting four states and territories:
COVID rules to remain after Sydney lockdown
By midnight Tuesday, NSW Health had listed another 28 close contact venues and urged anyone who visited Fitness First in Bondi Junction on Friday morning to phone the department before getting tested.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has hinted restrictions will remain, even after the current cluster is eradicated and Sydney ends its lockdown.
The number of new cases on Tuesday, at 19, was just one more than Monday’s total. But Ms Berejiklian warned infections could still spike in coming days.
NSW must get 80 per cent of its adult population vaccinated before having a conversation about what “COVID-normal” looked like, Ms Berejiklian said.
That’s five million people receiving 10 million jabs. More than two million doses have been administered in NSW so far.
Some 149 people have contracted the coronavirus locally since June 16, when the first case was reported at Bondi in Sydney’s east.
Seventeen of Tuesday’s new cases were linked to previously confirmed cases. The sources of the other two were still under investigation.
Both work in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, the epicentre of the outbreak.
However, only seven of the latest cases were in isolation for their entire infectious period, causing the number of exposure sites to balloon again.
‘Long way to go’ for Perth
The Delta strain is testing health systems and the community in Western Australia.
More than two million Western Australians have begun their third day of a four-day lockdown to combat a coronavirus outbreak linked to NSW.
There were no new locally acquired cases on Tuesday, “but there is still a long way to go”, Premier Mark McGowan said.
He also announced a return of a hard border closure with Queensland in response to that’s state’s outbreak.
Perth’s lockdown was sparked after a second virus infection was revealed on Monday night, both linked to a woman who recently returned to WA from NSW.
A man in his 30s is thought to have contracted the virus at the Indian Ocean Brewery.
He dined at the venue last Tuesday, eating at a different table to the woman who returned from Sydney and subsequently tested positive.
Another woman, aged 32, also tested positive after coming into contact with the original case, most likely at a Perth gym.
Darwin outbreak grows
The wife and daughter of a COVID-infected miner are the latest cases in a Delta variant outbreak that started at a mine in central Australia.
The family of an infected worker from a central Australian mine are the latest Delta-variant positive cases recorded from an outbreak that’s grown to 11.
The most recent cases in the Top End are the wife and daughter of the worker who left Newmont’s Granites Mine, about 540 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, on Friday.
There are 11 cases linked to the mine but only 10 have been recognised by the NT government.
Darwin and its surrounding areas have been in lockdown since Sunday after a young Victorian man, who had travelled to the mine on June 18 via a Brisbane quarantine hotel, tested positive for the virus on Saturday.
The most recent cases attended a Palmerston Zumba class between 9-9.30am on Saturday. That venue is a high-risk close contact exposure site.
Other public exposure sites include the Darwin International Airport departure lounge, Bunnings Darwin, the Chungwua Terrace public toilet, the Commonwealth Bank on Smith St in the CBD and Gateway Shopping Centre in Palmerston.
Queensland lockdown begins
Local government areas of south-east Queensland, Townsville City and Palm Island enter their first of a three-day snap lockdown on Wednesday, as the state braces for more coronavirus cases.
A Virgin Airlines flight that flew from Brisbane to Townsville last Thursday morning, and from Townsville to Brisbane on Sunday have been added to the state’s exposure site list.
Magnetic Island, and four outlets in the Chermside shopping centre in Brisbane’s north, are among more than a dozen other venues that were revealed to have been visited by a woman with the Delta variant.
The 19-year-old receptionist at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane travelled to the state’s north and was infectious in the community for 10 days before being tested.
Meanwhile, questions are being asked about the Wallabies’ opening Test match against France in Brisbane, scheduled for July 7. It was moved from the Sydney Cricket Ground because of NSW’s recent COVID cluster.