New South Wales has reported 124 new locally acquired cases of coronavirus, its highest daily figure for the year.
Of the new cases in the day to kl. 20 Wednesday with at least 70 people contagious in the community for all or part of their contagious period. Forty-four were active in the community throughout their infectious period.
The cases come from record 85,185 tests and include several aged.
There are currently 118 people in the hospital with 28 in intensive care, 14 of whom are ventilated.
Data show that the percentage of Thursday cases isolated for their full contagious period was only 30 percent, a number that has been uneven since early July.
By July 3, 62 percent of the new cases had been isolated during their full contagious period. On July 20, the number had dropped to 47 percent and on July 21, it was 34 percent.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says given the number of infectious people in the community, she expects the number of cases to rise even higher.
“We expect the number of cases to continue to rise before they start coming down, and we need to support that,” she told reporters on Thursday.
“[The virus] spreads like we have never seen before. “
Of the new locally acquired cases, 67 are linked to a known case or cluster, 45 are household contacts and 22 close contacts. The source of infection in 57 cases is under investigation.
There have now been 1,648 cases associated with the outbreak since June 16th.
The premiere said the state would not see the results of the tougher restrictions until early next week, by which time Greater Sydney would have already endured four weeks of deadlock, which was due to end on July 30.
She said 55 per cent of those in NSW with the current Delta tribe were under 55, which was a concern.
“This is a very, very different and more contagious strain than we have seen, and it is a concern that this rate remains high,” she said. “Delta is very different from what we have and that’s why everyone needs to treat it differently.
“You must not interact with people outside your immediate household unless you have to.”
Berejiklian pleaded with NSW residents on Thursday to be vaccinated as soon as possible, which she said would allow authorities to ease the restrictions.
“The more people we have vaccinated, the faster we can live life as freely as we would like.”
Of those currently in intensive care, none have had two doses of the vaccine, indicating that it works to prevent serious illness, she said.
“Once we have a large part of the population vaccinated, we will no longer talk about the number of cases. We will talk about the people who have serious illness in the hospital because the vaccine prevents serious illness.”
Cases spread in western Sydney
The premiere said COVID-19 was now spilled over from Fairfield’s local government area to Canterbury Bankstown and the Cumberland area, with residents urged to come for testing.
NSW Healths dr. Jeremy McAnulty said the Sydney suburbs of particular concern were Merrylands and Guildford, Toongabbie, Seven Hills, Pendle Hill, Mount Druitt and Rooty Hill, Wollongong, Fairfield, Liverpool and Bankstown, Narwee, Campsie and Earlwood, Georges River, Bayside and Sutherland . .
Residents in these areas are encouraged to come for tests even if they have only the mildest symptoms.
The NSW Health list of exposure sites listed pharmacies in Merrylands, Auburn and Punchbowl among new sites of concern.
A gardening in Mascot was subjected to a three-hour stretch on Saturday.
Three locations in Wollongong and nearby Fairy Meadow were also added to the list.
Unvaccinated elderly care staff test positive
The outbreak has also triggered new cases in nursing homes and disability centers, where three unvaccinated employees across two nursing homes tested positive.
The three COVID-positive residents and two employees of the disability group home Unisson Handicap in Parklea had received only one dose of a vaccine despite being included in the highest priority group for immunization.
It is the first outbreak in a disability group home.
Public health officials have investigated the outbreak to ensure that others at home have been tested and isolated and being cared for.
The nursing homes affected by the recent outbreaks were Palms in Kirrawee and Japara Corymbia in Belrose.
All other staff and residents at the two facilities in Sydney have since been tested for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, people in the central-western city of Orange and its environs are on their second full day in a seven-day shutdown after a COVID-19-positive delivery driver from Sydney visited the area and infected another person.
The lock in Orange, Blayney and Cabonne local government areas marks the first time that orders have been introduced from home in regional NSW.
NSW figures come as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that her state border with NSW would close from 1 p.m. 1 Friday.
“This is an important step that will enable Queensland to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the state,” she said.