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New South Wales, Sydney

NSW Covid update: rules tightened in western Sydney as state reaches record-high of 239 daily cases

NSW Covid update: rules tightened in western Sydney as state reaches record-high of 239 daily cases

7/29/2021 6:35:00 AM

NSW Covid update: rules tightened in western Sydney as state reaches record-high of 239 daily cases

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she expects case numbers to rise as the state records two further deaths related to the outbreak

Last modified on Thu 29 Jul 2021 04.40 BSTThe number of new local Covid-19 infections inNew South Waleshas spiked to 239 – an all time pandemic high – as the government tightens restrictions on masks and movement in eight council hotspots in west and south-west Sydney.

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Two more people have died – a woman in her 90s and man in his 80s, both from south-west– taking the death toll for the outbreak to 13.The premier,Gladys Berejiklian, acknowledged the number of locally acquired cases would get worse in coming days, given the high number of people infectious while in the community.

Read more“We can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better,” she said on Thursday.But she rejected suggestions her government had failed by imposing restrictions too late and too gradually, saying there was “no perfect way” to respond to an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta strain of the virus.

The record 239 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday surpassed the state’s previous pandemic high of 212 cases on 27 March 2020.At least 22 of those people were circulating in the community for part of their illness and 66 were infectious in the community for the entire time. The isolation status of 70 cases remains under investigation.

The government has already introduced new measures targeted at two million people in eight western Sydney local government areas where people cannot leave the area unless they are essential workers.On Thursday Berejiklian went even harder, saying she had accepted NSW police advice those virus-hit LGAs should now be subject to harsher compliance measures.

This means making masks mandatory at all times – including outdoors – and restricting people to within 5km of their home.The fine for failing to wear a mask will increase from $250 to $500 and police will be able to shut down businesses that repeatedly breach public health orders.

Police commissioner Mick Fuller says “nothing is off the table … between the premier and myself” in terms of stronger compliance, saying officers will be going door to door looking for people in the wrong house.He didn’t rule out involving the military.

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“We are not stretched at the moment but clearly if there was an LGA expansion, I would absolutely have the confidence in expanding the Australian defence force [role] ... they are working with us now in hotel quarantine.”The new cases came from almost 111,000 Covid-19 tests – another daily record – while there are 54 Covid-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with more than 20 of them on ventilators.

Berejiklian denied her government had failed the people of NSW by slowly ramping up restrictions as daily infections rose, rather than moving quickly.“We have harsher restrictions in place than any other state has ever had and even if you look at the mobility data we have ... the vast majority of our citizens are actually doing the right thing,” she said.

“All governments are making their way through the Delta strain around the world, there is no perfect way to deal with a pandemic.Read more“If you look at other places around the world and the way the Delta strain has taken over communities, even where vaccination rates have been higher ... we can take comfort in the fact that we haven’t had thousands of cases.”

The chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said more than half of the people with the virus were under 50 and 25% of people over the age of 70 were yet to get their first dose of a vaccine.Other lockdown measures announced on Wednesday included more financial support for businesses and workers, a singles bubble for people who live alone and a partial reopening of the construction sector from Saturday.

Year 12 students will also be able to return to school on 16 August, with rapid antigen testing used to detect cases. Up to 40,000 Pfizer doses will be redirected to vaccinate students in virus-hit areas.However students will not be forced to get the shot to re-enter classrooms.

Read more: The Guardian »

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Can someone tell me why Australia is so draconian on this? In Tokyo we've got the Olympics, daily cases around 3000 but it's business as mo'fu'in usually, baby! thanks

NSW Covid update: record high of 239 cases and increased fines for not wearing masks – video Gladys Berejiklian provides an update on New South Wales ’ Covid-19 lockdown as 239 new cases recorded good luck Why does it take some conservative governments so long to learn from reality (and others' experiences). With Covid you need to go hard early. NSW went weak and now they pay for longer. Totally avoidable. When the boarders open again, the cases will surge. This is just delaying the inevitable

NSW Covid update: 172 new cases as Berejiklian flags greater Sydney lockdown lasting into SeptemberNSW premier expected to announce Covid roadmap as Blacktown apartment block locked down this is terrible news The number of cases is academic. Excess deaths measure a nations health. Loss of prosperity measures government.

NSW records 177 Covid-19 cases as the Sydney lockdown is extended for four weeks – videoBerejiklian extends NSW Covid lockdown until the end of August Because of the Premier thanks Mind-Games

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Just 39% of NSW residents over 70 are fully vaccinated against Covid, despite push for jabs New South Wales is trailing much of Australia in getting the elderly vaccinated, new government figures reveal Pitiful - I thought the US was bad! :O wow! So slow, that's crazy

Sydney covid lockdown could last months as daily cases reach record highMore than 170 daily cases reported, with block of flats sealed off by police, outbreaks affecting two hospitals and further delays to Novavax vaccine thanks I'm shocked. Wasn't this one of the countries the Guardian held up as an example to Boris Johnson on how to deal with an epidemic? Gladys was apparently so enamoured by Scumo's praise of her free-wheeling approach to covid that she thought it work risking the health & welfare of millions to possibly further gratify her ego. The sort of selfless leadership that should serve NSW well in the grim days ahead.