Sydney Covid lockdown extended by two weeks, 97 new cases
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced Sydney's lockdown will be extended by two weeks.
There were 97 locally acquired cases in the previous 24-hour reporting period and follows 89 cases announced on Tuesday and 112 on Monday.
Twenty-four of the new cases were infectious in the community, while seven were partly in the community during their infectious period.
Ms Berejiklian and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant have expressed their concerns in recent days over the number of infectious people moving around the community, particularly in southwest Sydney.
"We need to get down to as close to zero as possible before we can end the lockdown and I really want to make that point clear," Ms Berejiklian said.
While she said the state government was committed to getting out of this lockdown "as soon as we can", Ms Berejiklian refrained from tightening the restrictions amid growing criticism from experts the current measures are too lenient.
Seventy of the cases were located in southwest Sydney, the majority of which were in the Fairfield local government area.
In response to a surge in testing numbers in the LGA after making testing every three days compulsory for essential workers in the area, Ms Berejiklian advised workers to get tested at a clinic closer to their workplace to take pressure off existing sites.
Not the time to 'lose focus', Dr Chant warns
Dr Chant said it was vital neighbouring LGAs did not "lose focus" in the fight against the virus.
"The risk is ever present and remember, what I'm reading to you today is what has happened overnight so tomorrow, there might be different sites," she said.
"That really reinforces the message that whenever you leave the house, you've got to assume you can come into contact with someone who is infectious with COVID."
Data from the Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool areas showed that people were still moving around too much, Ms Berejiklian said.
If the extension goes its full length, Sydney residents will have been under lockdown for five weeks after it commenced on June 26. It is scheduled to end on July 30 at 11.59pm.
Ms Berejiklian said such a decision "always hurts".
There were more than 65,000 people who came forward for testing in the previous 24 hours.
There are 20 people in ICU, four of whom are identified. The youngest person in ICU is in their twenties.
The lockdown is in place for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, the Central Coast and Shellharbour.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.