Covid NSW: 452 new cases as seven suburbs 'of concern' singled out

·News Reporter
  • More freedom likely for fully vaccinated residents

  • Fourth consecutive day local cases above 400

  • NSW Health no longer listing all exposure sites

NSW's Covid crisis shows little signs of abating as the state reported yet another day of more than 400 cases.

The 452 locally acquired cases announced on Tuesday is the fourth straight day cases have remained above 400.

Ms Berejiklian told reporters the state needed to "brace ourselves" for the cases to go even higher.

"We envisage that case numbers in the next two or three weeks will bounce around and are likely to rise substantially," she said.

The premier appeared almost resigned to being unable to suppress the virus.

People are seen walking around Circular Quay.
NSW Police this week began a crackdown on Sydneysiders doing the wrong thing outside their homes. Source: Getty

"That is not the trajectory we want for New South Wales but we have to be real about what is likely to be around the corner."

Ms Berejiklian reiterated September and October will be "our most difficult months".

She identified seven suburbs of concern where most of the cases are emerging, and called for people in those suburbs to come forward for vaccine.

Those suburbs are Blacktown, Seven Hills, Merrylands, Guilford, Auburn, Bankstown, and Greenacre.

There was a further death announced, an unvaccinated woman in her 70s at Westmead Hospital.

Monday brought eight Covid-19 related deaths, including a 15-year-old boy who was hospitalised with pneumococcal meningitis.

At least 54 people were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period yet the number under investigation stood at a staggering 297.

Some 75 per cent of cases in NSW were people under 40.

Premier envisages restrictions easing by September

Ms Berejiklian said she envisaged lighter restrictions by September as people continue to receive the vaccination.

In the past six days alone, close to 750,000 people have received a jab with Ms Berejiklian's ambitious target of six million jabs by the end of the month now a realistic target.

A record 168,000 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in NSW during in the previous reporting period alone.

"Once we get to six million jabs, we'll be able to consider opportunities for what we might be able to do in September and October that we can't currently do. I want to make that very clear," she said.

"Does it mean we will live completely freely? No. But does it mean we'll live more freely than we do today? Absolutely."

Ms Berejiklian said the state would now embark on a vaccine blitz in the next three weeks.

The premier later clarified an easing of restrictions would be for those fully vaccinated.

While further easing is set for 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated, Ms Berejiklian warned surging case numbers could derail easing.

All exposure sites no longer listed

NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty confirmed the department was no longer listing all exposure sites in metropolitan Sydney as contract tracers become swamped with the surge in cases.

He said in Sydney there are "many, many places that cases have gone but little risk" and the focus must be placed on places where there hasn't been a large number of cases, particularly outside of Sydney.

“We've learned that people get lost in the detail when we put up venues that we don't think are risky places on the website or in the media,” Dr McAnulty said.

NSW police issued nearly 600 infringement notices to people flouting tough new health orders on the first day of a three-week crackdown

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