NSW records alarming double-digit spike in local Covid cases

·News Reporter
·3-min read

NSW's locally acquired Covid-19 cases have spiked on Tuesday, adding a further 10 infections to the state's growing cluster in Sydney's east.

NSW Health revealed the increase on Tuesday morning, taking the outbreak to 21.

Seven of the local cases were detected after the reporting period's 8pm cut off and will be included in Wednesday's numbers.

Tuesday's official total is five cases, two of which were identified on Monday.

Four of those five were already in isolation while a fifth, an Eastern Suburbs woman in her 20s, is linked to the Bondi cluster with investigations into her case ongoing.

Sydneysiders are required to wear face masks on public transport. Source: Getty
Sydneysiders are required to wear face masks on public transport. Source: Getty

One of the 10 newly identified cases is not yet linked to the Bondi cluster, a primary school student from St Charles Primary School in Waverley.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said contact tracers were working tirelessly to find an intermediate source for the infection.

There were 28,645 tests received in the previous 24 hours – still shy of the ambitious daily target of 40,000 set by Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

'Increased level of concern' as cases expected to spike again

On Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian said mask wearing will be extended an additional week from Thursday, with all Greater Sydney residents now required to wear one on public transport, when shopping and when indoor in public settings. 

"There is no doubt that an increased level of concern," she said.

Ms Berejiklian said she expected household contacts of isolating cases are likely to contract the virus due to the Delta variant's infectiousness. 

Six of the seven cases to be included in Wednesday's numbers are household contacts of previous cases who have been in isolation.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the president of the Australian Medical Association's NSW branch Dr Danielle McMullen said Sydneysiders needed to take the outbreak more seriously

Health Minister Brad Hazzard echoed her sentiment, calling on Sydney residents to use QR codes when possible, while warning businesses they must be using them. 

"We really need to take this particular virus and the variant extremely seriously," he told reporters.

Exposure sites across the city have ballooned to more than 100 locations with more expected to be announced on Tuesday.

NSW Health is now asking anyone who visited Bondi Junction Westfield between June 12 and June 18 to get tested regardless of symptoms. Those who have not visited specific exposure sites or don't have symptoms do not need to isolate after their test however are advised to avoid gatherings and limit their movement.

Ms Berejiklian said at this stage, with the source of cases largely known and with the cluster concentrated in one area, a further tightening of restrictions were not needed. 

However she warned if further cases arose that weren't linked and the cluster began to spread, current measures would need to be reevaluated. 

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