Covid NSW: Record 356 daily cases as virus runs rampant in community

·3-min read
  • Covid outbreak at aged care home

  • Premier resists calls for stricter lockdown rules

  • Infected man in Byron Bay 'didn't believe in Covid'

NSW has recorded 356 new local Covid cases in the past 24 hours, its biggest spike since the start of the pandemic.

One-third of those were in the community while infectious, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said during a media conference on Tuesday.

The state recorded another three deaths related to the Delta outbreak — a man and woman in their 80s, and a man in his 70s. None of them were vaccinated, Ms Berejiklian said.

The man in his 80s contracted Covid on July 29 while he was a patient at Liverpool Hospital. Eight staff and 29 patients have tested positive as a result of the Liverpool Hospital outbreak. Six deaths are linked to the outbreak.

An overseas traveller also died from Covid after being rushed from hotel quarantine to hospital.

Thousands of Year 12 HSC students begin to get their Pfizer vaccinations at the Mass Vaccination hub at Qudos Arena in Sydney. Source: AAP
Thousands of Year 12 HSC students begin to get their Pfizer vaccinations in Sydney. Source: AAP

The death toll from the current outbreak now sits at 32. There are 60 Covid-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with 28 ventilated.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said because of the high number of infectious people in the community, everyone should assume they are coming into contact with someone with Covid "every time" they leave home.

Dr Chant said no new infections had been found in Byron Bay or Tamworth, which both entered a snap seven-day lockdown on Monday. Armidale has also not recorded any new cases.

However, she did confirm the two children of a man in his 50s from Sydney who travelled to Byron Bay a week ago, triggering the lockdown, have tested positive for Covid as well.

Covid outbreak at aged care home

Dr Chant confirmed a Covid outbreak at St George Aged Care Centre in Bexley.

"A confirmed case in a staff member who worked one shift while infectious on one level at the facility. Four out of eight residents have tested positive. All eight of the residents were vaccinated," she said.

The staff member had received their first dose of vaccination.

Dr Chant urged people to take advantage of the "high-quality vaccines available in Australia".

"It is incredibly important that people take up the opportunity to get their vaccine," she said.

Premier deflects calls for stricter lockdown rules

Ms Berejiklian has resisted calls for her to impose stricter lockdown restrictions across Greater Sydney as millions of residents plod their way through their seventh week inside.

“What we also have to accept is the basic fact that Delta is very different to other strains we have had," she said.

"Policy positions that may have worked in the past aren't going to have effect with Delta. Accept this is a different variant and we need to approach it differently."

Of the 356 new cases, 102 were in isolation for their infectious period and 40 were in isolation for part of their infectious period, NSW Health said.

Fifty-seven cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 157 remains under investigation.

Infected man in Byron Bay 'didn't believe in Covid'

Byron Shire mayor Michael Lyon told Yahoo News Australia the infected man in his 50s who prompted the area's lockdown has been uncooperative with authorities and reportedly didn't believe in Covid or using QR codes.

“He’s probably taking it seriously now,” he said, adding that there is “no indication” the man will begin cooperating with health officials and contact tracers soon.

The man is being treated for Covid symptoms in hospital.

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