Australia

NSW has recorded 291 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and one death, with higher numbers expected

NSW has recorded 291 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and the death of a woman in her 60s.

Of these, 91 were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 48 were in isolation for part of their infectious period. Forty-eight cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 104 cases remains under investigation.

A woman in her 60s from south-western Sydney died overnight from the virus at Liverpool Hospital, bringing the number of COVID-related deaths during the current outbreak to 22.

The woman, who was unvaccinated, acquired the virus in hospital from a health worker who worked across two wards.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she expected case numbers to continue to rise. 

“I am expecting higher case numbers in the next few days,” she said on Friday.

“The more people we get vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to live more freely and I really want to stress that point.

“Life for us on August 29 will be a reflection of how many people have at least one dose of the vaccine.”

There are currently 304 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 50 people in intensive care, 22 of whom require ventilation.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said none of those currently in ICU have received two doses of a vaccine.

“People that are in intensive care are predominantly not vaccinated, 44 people are not vaccinated, four people received their first dose of AstraZeneca and two people have received their first dose of Pfizer,” she said.

“One dose does afford protection … but two doses provides a greater degree of protection.”

Increased police presence in Canterbury-Bankstown

Authorities are seeing escalating cases in in Campsie, Bankstown, Lakemba, Punchbowl, Wiley Park, Yagoona, Greenacre, Earlwood and Chester Hill.

The premier said there be more police on the ground in Canterbury-Bankstown, which “is proving to be the area where cases are increasing the most”.

“We are seeing too many people frequent certain shopping areas and perhaps not doing the right thing, so police will be more present.”

There’s a growing cluster surrounding KFC Punchbowl in Sydney’s southwest, where 12 staff members have tested positive. 

Anyone who attended the Canterbury Road venue at any time in the seven days from Tuesday 27 July to Monday 2 August inclusive is a close contact and is advised get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.

A full list of exposure sites can be found here.

Year 12 students from the eight local government areas of most concern in western and southwestern Sydney will be able to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine from Monday at Qudos Bank Arena.

“HSC students in those eight local government areas will be invited to get the Pfizer jab … and we do encourage your student to make sure they come forward for that opportunity.”

The premier said students in those areas will not have any face-to-face school time for the foreseeable future until otherwise advised. But she hopes every student in those LGAs would have had a vaccine by the time they sit their HSE exam.

“In areas outside of those local government areas there will be a flexible model for HSC students, if you need to go into the classroom for whatever reason in order to pick up material or do some face-to-face exams or whatever is required,” she said.

“Health and education have worked out a very safe way for that to occur. It won’t be normal classes but certainly it will be a level of presence to ensure that no students are disadvantaged in terms of acquiring their qualifications.”

Cases in the Hunter region

Dr Chant said there have been two new cases of COVID in the Newcastle area, bringing the number of cases in the region to seven. 

There were no new cases reported from the Central Coast, following the nine cases announced on Thursday.

“Of the two new cases and Hunter, one is a woman in her 60s linked to the known Central Coast household cases announced yesterday.

“The second, a woman in her 20s is a household contact of a case announced yesterday.”

The CHO urged those in the Newcastle community and surrounds to come forward for testing “so we can be assured that we aren’t missing any chains of transmission”.

There were 109,547 COVID-19 tests in NSW reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 106,954. 

On Wednesday 84,000 people across the state received a dose of a vaccine. 

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