Authorities are warning people to “be open and honest” with contact tracers — even if they’ve breached lockdown rules — after NSW recorded 16 new local COVID-19 infections.
- Homes rather than public places are now the main source of infections
- Three new cases are linked to the Ocean Foods wholesaler in Marrickville
- Health authorities are pleased 13 of 16 new cases were in isolation
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said most people were “doing the right thing” but contact tracers had discovered people flouting the rules.
“We just want people to know that we would much rather you tell us the truth without consequence, so that we can actually find all those potential cases,” the Premier said.
Ms Berejiklian said the next few days of the lockdown were “absolutely critical” to controlling the outbreak.
The 16 new infections announced today is an improvement on the previous day’s total of 35.
“Whilst the numbers overnight are very encouraging compared to the previous day, we know that they still have a potential to bounce around, and we still know that the next few days are absolutely critical,” Ms Berejiklian said.
She stressed people should only leave the house for exercise or “when you absolutely have to”.
“Please don’t go visiting each other because that’s how the virus spreads.”
Of the 16 new cases, 13 had been in isolation while infectious.
More than 45,000 people were tested in the 24 hours to 8:00pm on Saturday.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said 14 of the cases were linked to previously confirmed cases, with five of them household contacts.
Three were linked to the Great Ocean Foods seafood wholesaler in Marrickville, which Dr Chant described as a “significant spreading event”.
She added no new cases were acquired from overseas in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night.
Dr Chant stressed the lower numbers could only be sustained if people observed the rules.
She acknowledged it was “a trying time for young adults who want to socialise with others” but she stressed the importance of people being honest if they had broken the rules.
“When our contact tracers are going back and looping around and confirming … close contacts, we ask that you double-check that you haven’t had any breaches or any missteps.
“Again … we’ll be sad if you have, but please be open and honest with us.
“The consequences of not letting us know about a lapse are incredible at this sort of critical phase in our response … don’t redouble that mistake by not being very honest with us.”
Dr Chant assured people any information given to public health authorities would not be shared.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said public places such as hotels, clubs, pubs and restaurants had previously been the main sites of transmission, but this had now shifted to homes.
“Right now the most dangerous place is actually our homes. Aussies tend
to think of their home as their castle, but right now it can be COVID central.” he said.
He said the only reason people should visit someone in their home was if they needed care.
“But if you do have the need to go to someone’s home, it would be very wise for you to avoid kissing, cuddling, closeness, any proximity at all can mean that this virus can get you and spread it then to others when you leave that house.”
New areas of concern include Auburn, where residents are encouraged to get tested after various venues of concern were identified.
Dr Chant also singled out the Commonwealth Bank at Roselands Shopping Centre in Sydney’s south west, warning anyone who had attended on June 28, 29 and 30 was a close contact and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
Dr Chant said three residents of the Summit Care aged care facility in Baulkham Hills who tested positive to COVID-19 were a woman in her 80s, a man in his 80s, and a man in his 90s.
“Now, pleasingly, those three individuals were fully vaccinated but out of the abundance of caution, they have been offered transfer to Westmead Hospital for observation,” Dr Chant said.
She added no further residents had tested positive to the virus.