News Coronavirus Concerns for regional NSW, as cases dip slightly

Concerns for regional NSW, as cases dip slightly

nsw coffs harbour
The Hoey Moey pub in Coffs Harbour is one of the latest NST exposure sites.
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NSW has confirmed 98 more local coronavirus cases, with construction across Sydney halted and public transport cut to reduced schedules.

Monday’s cases included up to 44 people who were not in isolation throughout their infectious period.

Testing numbers remain high across NSW, with the latest update from 75,845 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm Sunday.

Monday’s figures come after four days of triple-figure or near triple-figure cases in NSW – with 97 last Friday, 111 on Saturday and 105 on Sunday.

Sydney’s south-west remains the focus of concern, accounting for more than two-thirds of Monday’s infections.

There are also more concerns for the regions, however, with Coffs Harbour on alert on Monday after a COVID-positive visitor.

In a social media post, Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh said the person visited a Woolworths, Big W, and the Hoey Moey pub last week.

Hoey Moey publican Harry Barry said he was working with NSW Health.

“Somebody came through the Hoey after 4pm on Thursday afternoon and in the interest of public health we’ve been asked to keep the venue closed until further notice,” he told the ABC.

Pub staff and patrons have been alerted to the potential exposure.

“Go and get tested, do the right thing and let’s see if we can stop the spread of this thing before it goes too far,” Mr Barry said.

With Monday’s update, the number of cases in the outbreak that has sent greater Sydney into lockdown has risen to 1340.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian repeated her call for people to stay home

“You might think you are doing the right thing by visiting a relative or going into another household – please don’t,” she said.

“We are seeing so many cases of families going through distress because they are moving from household to household, thinking they are doing the right thing, but unfortunately even when you don’t have symptoms, you might not know you are carrying the virus.”

State authorities also remain concerned about the virus’ spread in workplaces across Sydney.

The workplace spread prompted a decision at the weekend to halt work on construction sites across Sydney until at least July 30.

It’s the first time the entire construction industry has been shut anywhere in Australia since the pandemic began.

With millions of people in greater Sydney and surrounding regions in the fourth week of a lockdown, tightened restrictions at the weekend also forced the closure of most shops except for supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and liquor stores.

Public transport has been scaled back and is operating on a Sunday timetable, while stay-at-home orders have been tightened in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool areas with locals not allowed to leave until July 30 – unless they are essential workers.

It’s estimated the tougher measures have left about 600,000 people without work.

Federal MP for Lakemba Jihad Dib, whose constituents live in the epicentre of the outbreak in Sydney’s south-west, said people were feeling frustrated and confused by the constantly changing health orders.

“I spent most of the weekend dealing with people who are trying to come to terms with the fact that they’ve lost their livelihood … (who are wondering) how they are going to manage to put food on the table,” he told ABC radio.

He is encouraging his constituents to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Friday at home, saying mosques will have online services and extended family gatherings will have to be virtual.

“It will be different but it comes down to that point that for the greater good we need to do this. It’s a small sacrifice to make for the benefit of everybody.”

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the NSW building industry had been blindsided by the shutdown of the industry, saying it was “excessive and completely unnecessary”.

“We’re probably one of the best-managed industries from a COVID perspective,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.

The ban covers brickies, glaziers, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, landscapers, painters plasterers and labourers, who can perform only emergency maintenance.

Mr Davies wants the government to come up with an industry support package.

-with AAP