Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Aged care home in lockdown
An aged care home in Sydney’s south will remain locked down over the next two weeks after a nurse tested positive for COVID-19.
The staff member from The Palms Aged Care home in Kirrawee was diagnosed with the virus on Tuesday night, plunging the facility into lockdown.
The 65 elderly residents, who are in isolation, have been swabbed, with half the results back so far, all of them negative.
Staff members who were considered close contacts of the infected nurse were isolating at home and all had tested negative.
The nursing home said all the elderly residents had been vaccinated but not all the staff. A public health vaccination unit was on site delivering more jabs on Wednesday.
NSW Premier urges ‘patience’
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the next few days will be vital in determining whether the harsher lockdown across Greater Sydney is working.
It comes despite continuing high case numbers and unlinked infections.
Yesterday, the state recorded 110 new cases with 43 of these out in the community while infectious.
The Premier said NSW had done well to stem the growth of the Delta strain compared with other countries, but the situation was serious.
“What we need to do now is quash it, because with the vaccination rates the way they are, we won’t be able to live freely and safely unless we’re able to quash this current outbreak.”
She urged the community to be “careful”, not to “cut corners” and be “patient”, as it would take until the weekend or early next week to see if the tougher restrictions had worked.
“If there’s anything you can put off in the next few weeks, put it off. If you don’t have to leave the house, please don’t,” she said.
South-west Sydney continues to record high case numbers but health officials are now also turning their attention to Western Sydney.
Late on Wednesday, a number of venues in the region, including the Australia Post office in Auburn and Merrylands Kmart, were added to the NSW Health’s list of COVID-19 exposure sites.
Calls for free parking for essential workers
The Health Services Union says essential workers are struggling to get to their jobs because of a lack of available or free parking in and around major Sydney hospitals.
Workers had also expressed concerns about changes to public transport timetables which has made travelling to and from work more difficult.
HSU Secretary Gerard Hayes is calling on the state government to make hospital parking across Sydney free for essential workers.
“People should not at this point in time be charged a tax, so they can actually do the right thing and stop the spread,” he said.
The City of Sydney said it was providing special permits for essential workers to park at city-owned car parks including Goulburn St and Kings Cross and on-street designated parking areas.
But Mr Hayes said there was already too much parking pressure in the inner city, and that it was now up to the hospitals to allow for more free parking availability.
A spokesperson for Transport for NSW said they were running a dynamic timetable to limit the spread of the virus and would make timetable changes where needed.
Pet food workers COVID-free
There’s some good news for the NSW Central West, with the remaining close contacts at a COVID-19 exposure site returning negative test results.
It comes as much of the region enters day two of a snap seven-day lockdown until 12:01am on Wednesday, July 28.
The few remaining workers at the Blayney pet food factory had been waiting to hear if they too had tested positive for coronavirus.
One of their colleagues became the first case of local transmission in regional NSW during this current outbreak.
A spokesperson for the factory told the ABC the results were all clear.
Thousands of people across the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne council areas have turned out to get tested.
The local health authority said the next few days would be critical as results start coming in.
Application to revoke bail for Obeid, Macdonald
A court is today expected to hear an application to revoke bail for former NSW Labor Ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, after they were convicted of a mine licence conspiracy.
After a year-long trial without a jury, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton on Monday found Obeid, his middle son Moses and Macdonald guilty of conspiring over a coal licence that led to a $30 million windfall for the Obeid family, when Macdonald was resources minister.
They were on bail throughout their long-running trial, but today prosecutors are expected to apply for bail to be revoked.
The men face a sentencing hearing in September.
Misconduct in public office is a common law offence, meaning there is no maximum penalty.
Their sentence will be at the discretion of the judge.
COVID disrupts food delivery service
Food delivery company HelloFresh says a staff member at its Sydney distribution centre had tested positive for coronavirus, forcing many of its workforce into isolation, and disrupting deliveries.
In an email to customers, the company said although the infected staffer didn’t work in food handling, in line with public health guidelines, all other staff members who had come in contact with the worker had to isolate.
They said the workforce shortage would affect its capacity to fulfil orders.
The company also said they would be working to source as much supply as possible from alternative centres over this period, but might not be able to complete some orders or they may be late in arriving, or reduced in size.