NSW premier Gladys Bereijiklian says Sydney’s lockdown ending as scheduled on Friday is “almost impossible”, with the state recording its highest number of daily COVID-19 infections of the current outbreak.
Watch the video above for the latest on the NSW COVID-19 outbreak
NSW recorded 112 new local COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, at least 46 of which were out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
“Where the numbers are, it is not likely – in fact, almost impossible – for us to get out of lockdown on Friday,” Berejiklian said on Monday.
“Family or close friends, unfortunately, bear the brunt of those 112 (cases) we have seen overnight.
“If you put yourself at risk, you’re putting your entire family – and that means extended family, as well as your closest friends and associates – at risk.”
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said she was “in two minds” about whether Monday’s case numbers marked a peak in the outbreak.
“If I can find all the cases out there today through really, really high testing, that is actually a win,” Chant said.
“If we are getting to people really early when they are just turning infectious then they have probably had that chance of not infecting it further and if we can contain the family unit we can stop the spread.”
NSW has recorded almost 680 COVID-19 cases in the community since June 16, when the Bondi cluster first emerged.
There are 18 COVID-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with four ventilated.
First COVID death of 2021
Australia on Sunday reported its first COVID-19 death of 2021 – a 90-year-old southwest Sydney woman believed to be unvaccinated.
The woman was a close contact of another locally acquired case.
Berejiklian said the government would further ramp up its vaccination drive, with the AstraZeneca jab to be made available to all people aged over 40 at NSW mass vaccination clinics.
All NSW pharmacies will also be able to dole out the AstraZeneca jab to over-40s.
A new mass vaccination hub will also be established at Fairfield in southwest Sydney, where local COVID-19 transmission remains a significant concern.
Aged care workers and more than 10,000 teachers in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas will be prioritised for vaccinations.
“Over half our workforce are eligible for the vaccine, and now teachers in areas of concern for COVID-19 transmission have priority access,” Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said.
The federal government will also administer a health support package involving personal protective equipment from the national stockpile.
NSW Health late on Monday advised of multiple new close contact exposure sites in Fairfield, Belmore and Roselands, including a medical centre.
The state and federal governments, meanwhile, continue to nut out additional financial aid for businesses as the Greater Sydney lockdown drags on,
The state government has already committed $1.4 billion for businesses and is reportedly keen to establish a NSW-funded JobKeeper-style program.
An announcement on the program is imminent, Berejiklian said.
A “graphic” COVID-19 advertisement has also begun airing on Sydney television screens to highlight the seriousness of the disease.
In the ad, a young woman in a hospital bed gasps for air.
Meanwhile, the NSW Education department is shipping 7000 laptops and 5000 dongles to more than a thousand schools across the state for students about to start term three by online learning due to the lockdown.
Last year, the department shipped more than 13,000 devices and 8000 dongles to support students learning from home.
Some 105 infringement notices were issued by NSW Police on Sunday.