New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian believes the Sydney outbreak is stabilizing after the number of new local COVID-19 infections has dropped, but has warned that cases will continue to bounce around. is likely to.
NSW reported 65 new local COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8 pm on Wednesday, but Berejiklian warned that despite stay-at-home orders, the number of infected people in the community was yet to decline .
Of the new cases, at least 35 people were out in the community for part or all of their infectious period – a number that officials want to bring down to zero.
“It has been a steady number, it hasn’t gone up… (but) we can’t get out of the lockdown until it comes down,” the premier told reporters.
Five million NSW residents will take at least another fortnight after high daily coronavirus numbers forced the state government to extend stay-at-home measures until at least 30 July.
There are 19 patients in intensive care in NSW, five of whom are ventilated.
Ms Berejiklian again defended the current work-from-home settings, saying many residents were already doing so.
“Wherever you draw the line, there will never be (perfection) … but what do I know is that green shoots are starting to appear,” Premier said.
There have been 929 localized COVID cases in NSW since the outbreak began on 16 June and Berejiklian said there would have been “thousands and thousands of cases” if NSW had not gone into lockdown about three weeks ago.
She urged people not to go to doctors or pharmacists with COVID symptoms, saying that some people had become infected in those settings.
The number of infections continues to rise in southwest Sydney, where testing clinics were flooded this week after Fairfield LGA ordered essential workers to be tested every three days when working out of the area.
There are now three test sites in the area working round the clock.
Two major Sydney hospitals are also on alert after a nurse and a patient were diagnosed with COVID-19.
A pregnant patient at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney’s south-west was tested positive on Wednesday after undergoing a procedure.
The hospital canceled elective surgery to deeply clean the operation theater while close contacts are being tested and isolated for 14 days.
A nurse working at Westmead Hospital in the COVID-19 ward has also tested positive for the virus, but so far there is no case linked to the health worker.
The nurse was vaccinated and is currently asymptomatic.
At least one paramedic in south-west Sydney, believed to have been infected in the community and not at work, has also tested positive for the virus.
According to media reports, more paramedics have been diagnosed.
“NSW Ambulance is investigating reports of more positive cases in paramedics who had no contact with the confirmed case. Immediate contact tracing is underway,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
At least another 70 paramedics have reportedly been forced into isolation as close contacts.
On Thursday evening, an aged care home in Rooty Hill also confirmed that a contract cleaner at the facility had been diagnosed with the virus, prompting the center to close as a precaution.
“We have isolated all residents and staff throughout the facility and our outbreak management plan has been implemented,” a spokesperson for Minchinbury Manor said in a statement.
“Both residents and staff will be tested daily, while the cleaner and his five close contacts at the facility have been immediately isolated.”
He said that about 90 percent of staff and residents have been vaccinated, and those who remain without vaccination will be offered a response in the coming days.
NSW Health on Thursday afternoon confirmed another suspected case at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse for cancer treatment in Sydney, which was a false positive.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says relief is on the way for parents who will no longer have to pay for child care they are not using during lockdown.
About 216,000 families in 3600 centers can be benefited by this measure.