NSW has confirmed 78 more local virus infections – as authorities confirm increasing testing is picking up many people who have the virus but no symptoms.
There were 63,000 COVID tests across NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm Monday, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirming a noticeable boost in the virus’ epicentre of Fairfield.
However, there is little improvement in the numbers of people who are infectious while in the community.
From Tuesday’s figures, at least 29 people were out and about for at least part of their infectious period. The isolation status of a further 12 remains under investigation.
A total of 1418 people have now been diagnosed with the virus since the outbreak began on June 16.
Ms Berejiklian said the effort of the community was making a difference.
“We’ve stabilised the virus,” she said.
“We wouldn’t have thrown everything at it if we didn’t think we had a chance of crushing it and I know that if we all work together we can quash it.
“That 78 number would have been much, much higher had people not been doing the right thing.”
Ms Berejiklian particularly urged residents in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA, Hurstville and Kogarah areas to come forward for testing.
She described Tuesday’s COVID numbers as a “pleasing drop” – after four days with daily figures hovering around 100 – but said too much transmission of the virus was still happening in workplaces.
Under public health orders, employers in locked down areas are required to direct employees to work from home.
Chief health officer Kerry Chant said high testing numbers needed to be sustained across NSW, but particularly in the hardest-hit areas.
- A full list of NSW exposure sites can be found here.
People living in greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour are in the fourth week of a lockdown and the government is under intense pressure for its sudden decision to shut down the state’s construction industry.
Builders, unions and constriction companies have formed a united front to lobby the government to allow some workers back on sites before the end of July.
Ms Berejiklian defended the shutdown as necessary but said the government was working with the sector on safe ways to open up again on July 31.
She flagged extra safety measures for the industry, including onsite COVID testing.
“It was important for us to take a pause so that the industry can resume and continue safely and indefinitely,” she said.
Dr Chant also confirmed the death of a south-west Sydney woman in her 50s on Monday. She is the fifth COVID-19 death in NSW since mid-June and the 61st recorded from the pandemic.
The Green Valley woman was the mother of removalist twins who travelled to central-west NSW while allegedly knowing they were COVID-19 positive.
NSW Health issued more than 20 alerts for venues and transport routes on Monday night, including a bottle shop at Coffs Harbour. The north coastal town remains on alert after a COVID-positive person visited numerous venues last week.
There are 95 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 27 people in intensive care, 11 of whom are ventilated.