Public Health Alert – Lockdown extended to 28 August, new shopping restrictions, plan for Year 12 students – Wednesday, 28 July 2021

NSW recorded 177 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Of these locally acquired cases, 74 are linked to a known case or cluster – 60 are household contacts and 14 are close contacts – and the source of infection for 103 cases is under investigation.

Forty-seven cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 22 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period. Forty-six cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 62 cases remains under investigation.

No new cases were acquired overseas in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. The total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic is now 8,105.

There have been 2,574 locally acquired cases reported since 16 June 2021, when the first case in the Bondi cluster was reported.  

Sadly, NSW Health has been notified of a COVID-19-related death, a woman in her 90s, who died yesterday at Liverpool Hospital. NSW Health extends its sincere condolences to her family and friends.

This is the 11th COVID-19 related death during the current outbreak.

There are currently 165 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 56 people in intensive care, 22 of whom require ventilation.

There were 94,532 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 84,486.

Want to get vaccinated? Walk-in appointments are available in western Sydney for over 40s.

NSW Health administered 25,375 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, including 7,686 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 3,575,052 with 1,395,881 doses administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 2,179,171 administered by the GP network and other providers to 11:59pm on Monday 26 July 2021.

Of the 177 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm last night, 90 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 46 are from Western Sydney LHD, 20 are from Sydney LHD, 15 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, three are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, two are from Northern Sydney LHD, and one is from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD.

Lockdown extended and new restrictions

Given low vaccination rates, the current stay at home orders will remain in place for another four weeks (until Saturday, 28 August at 12.01am) across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

This extra time will allow NSW residents to significantly increase the uptake of vaccines in areas most affected by the current outbreak and across the state.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said higher vaccination rates and following the health orders are the only way to guarantee the further easing of restrictions.

“Though the Pfizer supply is insufficient there is plenty of AstraZeneca, and updated federal health advice recommends anyone aged 18 and over in Greater Sydney should access the jab,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“If you are unvaccinated, please organise a jab as soon as you possibly can, especially if you live in an LGA of concern.”

Other restriction changes are as follows:

From midnight tonight (28 July):

  • In line with exercise rules, Greater Sydney residents including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour must limit their shopping to within their Local Government Area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 10km from home, unless the item is not available locally.
  • Given localised case numbers, the Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River LGAs will join the five existing LGAs of concern which are subject to an Authorised Workers Order. Only authorised workers in these eight LGAs may leave their LGA for work. The five previously announced LGAs of concern are Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown and Cumberland.

From 12.01am, Saturday, 31 July:

  • Construction in non-occupied settings outside of the LGAs of concern (with no residents on-site) will re-open as planned, subject to a one person per 4sqm rule. These low-risk construction sites must have COVID safe plans in place, compliance will be strictly enforced. Construction cannot resume in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will construction workers be allowed to leave these areas.
  • Trades people, including cleaners who are able to work with zero contact with residents will also be allowed to resume (no more than two people inside and five outside). If contactless arrangements are not possible, work cannot go ahead. This work will not be allowed in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will workers be allowed to leave these areas.
  • A singles bubble will also be introduced, allowing people who live alone to nominate one designated family member or friend to visit for companionship. Restrictions will apply for people in the LGAs of concern.

Changes to surveillance testing (enforceable from Saturday, 31 July):

  • All authorised workers from Canterbury-Bankstown LGA must get tested once every three days in order to leave their LGA for work.
  • People who live in the Fairfield and Cumberland LGAs but work outside these areas as health or aged care workers (including support services for health or aged care, such as cleaners, cooks and security providers) must be tested once every three days in order to be allowed to go to work outside their LGA.  
  • These surveillance testing requirements will be enforceable from Saturday, 31 July. However, relevant workers will have from today to get their first test.  

Year 12 students are also set to return to face-to-face learning on Monday, 16 August, with the Government finalising plans for the resumption of in-class study under strict COVID protocols.

The NSW Government is also working with industry and the Department of Education to introduce Rapid Antigen Testing to mitigate against outbreaks in workplaces and schools.

“The vast majority of the community has been absolutely fantastic to date and have followed the public health advice. Though we are easing some restrictions today we need people to redouble their efforts as we continue to battle the Delta variant in the coming weeks,” Mr Hazzard said.

“We need people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary to leave and the best reason for most people to leave home right now is to get vaccinated. In doing so, you are taking a vital step to protect yourself, your loved ones and the community.”

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

Construction allowed to recommence

Construction will resume in Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour this week with new COVID protocols to be introduced to keep workers and worksites safe.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro today outlined the roadmap forward and said the NSW Government had worked closely with industry to plan this reopening, creating the construction COVID-19 safety plan, and he commends the industry’s ongoing commitment to tackling the virus.

“Construction will resume on Saturday, 31 July, with safety measures such as controls on movements between sites, reduced contact between workers within sites, improved tracing capability and a focus on encouraging workers to get vaccinated,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Works in occupied premises including residential homes can also resume from this Saturday where there is zero contact between workers and residents. There will be a limit of up to two workers for indoor services and five workers for outdoor services, and works will only be possible where it is feasible for residents to vacate the area. If contactless arrangements are not possible, work cannot go ahead.

“Unfortunately, construction will not resume in the eight LGAs of concern – Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River Local Government Areas.

“However, businesses in those LGAs which are part of the construction supply chain will be permitted to operate. Construction supply chain workers will be added to the authorised workers list and will be allowed to leave their local area for work, subject to meeting COVID-19 surveillance testing requirements. This includes workers engaged in manufacturing of construction materials, plant and components.

“I can also announce that as part of our plan to reopen construction, worksites will be able to operate on Sundays and public holidays for the remainder of the year, up until Christmas, to make up for any time lost.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the construction industry was vital to the State’s economy and reopening the industry safely was crucial to keeping hundreds of thousands of people in jobs.

“Getting workers back on the tools as soon as possible has always been our priority, but we need to ensure it is done as safely as possible to protect both workers and the community,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The construction COVID-19 safety plan builds on the COVID safe measures already in place at many worksites, but we’re now applying that consistently right across the sector.

“We have worked with the industry over the past two weeks to get the right outcome and I would like to thank the sector for their constructive engagement. I would also like to acknowledge the willingness of the industry to take the lead in trials in the application of Rapid Antigen Testing and local vaccination services at sites, consistent with guidance from NSW Health.”

A defined list of preparatory works may commence on worksites from tomorrow to enable sites to reopen safely, with limited workforces on site to ensure COVID safe measures are in place, that equipment and plant can be restarted safely and that all utilities are in order.

Get tested. Get vaccinated.

As the outbreak continues across Sydney, it is vital people in Greater Sydney and throughout NSW continue to come forward for testing at the first sign of even mild symptoms.

NSW Health continues to urge everyone throughout NSW, to get tested immediately if they have even the mildest of symptoms and isolate until they receive a negative result. High rates of testing are critical to detecting transmission and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the community.

See all venues of concern in western Sydney here.

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 38 testing clinics in western Sydney today and more than 410 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.