COVID-19 Alert – New retail restrictions following 111 new cases, 29 infectious in the community – Saturday, 17 July 2021

NSW recorded 111 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Of these locally acquired cases, 59 are linked to a known case or cluster – 47 are household contacts and 12 are close contacts – and the source of infection for 52 cases remains under investigation.

Sixty-nine cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and ten cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period. Twenty-nine cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of three cases remains under investigation.

Six new overseas-acquired cases were recorded in the same period. The total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic is now 6,644.

Sadly, a man in his late-80s from south-eastern Sydney died yesterday. NSW Health extends its sincere sympathies to his family.

There have been 1,137 locally acquired cases reported since 16 June 2021, when the first case in the Bondi cluster was reported.

There are currently 75 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 18 people in intensive care, six of whom require ventilation.

There were a record 81,970 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 77,587.

NSW Health administered a record 23,715 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, including 7,722 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 2,975,525 with 1,158,879 doses administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 1,816,646 administered by the GP network and other providers, to 11.59pm on Thursday, 15th July.

New restrictions

Given the number of infectious cases in the community, the following changes will be made to further limit the spread of the COVID-19 Delta strain.

On the basis of updated health advice, the following changes come into effect across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm on Friday, 30 July:

From 11.59pm on Saturday, 17 July:

  • Retail premises will be required to close (‘click and collect’, takeaway and home delivery can still operate), except the following can remain open:
    • Supermarkets and grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores, liquor stores and fishmongers);
    • Stores that predominantly sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies;
    • Pharmacies and chemists; 
    • Petrol stations;
    • Car hire;
    • Banks and financial institutions;
    • Hardware, nurseries and building supplies;
    • Agricultural and rural supplies;
    • Pet supplies;
    • Post offices and newsagents; and
    • Office supplies.
  • In addition to the stay-at-home rules, residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs cannot leave their LGA for work except for emergency services and healthcare workers (including aged and disability workers). Where those workers do need to leave their LGA for work, they are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms;
  • Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when you are working outdoors, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food; and
  • All carpooling to be stopped unless among members of the same household.

From 12.01am on Monday, 19 July:

  • All construction to be paused; and
  • Non-urgent maintenance, including cleaning services, and repair work on residential premises to be paused.

From 12.01am on Wednesday, 21 July:

  • Employers must allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so, failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $10,000.

We are constantly reviewing the health advice and will continue to update the community if any changes are required.

All other restrictions currently in place across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in place.

These decisions have not been made lightly and we understand this is a difficult time for the community and appreciate their ongoing patience.

It is vital people continue to come forward for testing to help us find any COVID-19 cases in the community.

Restrictions in regional NSW remain unchanged.

For the latest information visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

Case details and venues of concern

Of the 111 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm last night, 83 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 11 are from Western Sydney LHD, eight are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, seven are from Sydney LHD and two are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD.

People in Greater Sydney must stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave. You should only be shopping for essential items, and only leaving the house for as short a period of time as possible. We encourage people to shop online or use click and collect options. If you do leave home for an essential reason, remember to check in to and out of anywhere you visit.

We are asking people not to seek exceptions to the stay-at-home rules, but instead to ensure they comply with them, in order to reduce the number of infectious cases of COVID-19 in the community.

Transmission in workplaces remains a concern. Everyone should work from home if possible. For essential workplaces:

  • Limit the interaction and mixing of employees, prevent meetings and gatherings, and reduce the size of the groups.
  • Masks are mandatory – including indoors and outdoors on construction sites.
  • Remind everyone in the workplace that they must not attend if they have any cold-like symptoms. They need to get a test immediately and isolate until they get a negative result. They also need to check the NSW Government website every day for updated venues of concern in case they are a contact.

The high number of COVID-19 cases and exposure venues in the Fairfield Local Government Area (LGA) means Fairfield residents who work in other LGAs must now be tested for COVID-19 every three days, even if they do not have symptoms.

People who don’t have symptoms who will be travelling outside of the Fairfield area for work must now get tested every three days. Asymptomatic people do not need to wait for a negative test before going to work although they must carry proof of the test.

At this time, it is most important to focus on anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or is a close or casual contact of confirmed cases. These people must immediately get tested as soon as possible. We ask you to please stay in the line when testing clinics are busy and identify yourself to staff and tell them that you have symptoms.

NSW Health’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 in a number of catchments in Sydney, including Minto, where there are no known cases of COVID-19. People in Minto are asked to be especially vigilant for the onset of any cold-like symptoms, and if they appear, to be tested immediately and isolate until a negative result is received.

Get tested

If you are directed to get tested for COVID‑19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the rules whether or not the venue or exposure setting is listed on the NSW Health website.

It remains vital that anyone who has any symptoms or is a close or casual contact of a person with COVID-19, isolates and is tested immediately. When testing clinics are busy, please ensure you stay in line, identify yourself to staff and tell them that you have symptoms or are a contact of a case.

Please check the NSW Government website regularly, and follow the relevant health advice if you have attended a venue of concern or travelled on a public transport route at the same time as a confirmed case of COVID-19. This list is being updated regularly as case investigations proceed.

There are 29 testing clinics in western Sydney today and more than 400 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.

To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

To book your COVID-19 vaccination, go to www.nsw.gov.au or visit the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker online.