— Health

NSW records 11 new locally-transmitted coronavirus cases but avoids going into lockdown

Eleven new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases have been recorded in NSW, a day after a range of new restrictions were introduced to slow an outbreak described as the state’s “scariest period” since the beginning of the pandemic.

At least one of the new cases is an NSW government minister, forcing politicians and Parliament House employees to undergo rapid testing.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro was the latest to isolate on Thursday, tweeting shortly before 8 pm that he had been identified as a close contact of a previous case.

The official case tally for Thursday was 18 infections, including 13 previously announced. A further six cases were recorded after the 8 pm cut-off and included in Friday’s numbers.

All but one of Thursday’s cases have been linked, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Thursday, adding that she was “comfortable that the settings that are in place right now are the appropriate settings”.

Since the pandemic has started, this is perhaps the scariest period New South Wales is going through,” Ms. Berejiklian told reporters. “It is a very contagious variant … please be extra cautious”.

Of the five new cases included in Thursday’s tally, three have been linked to a party in West Hoxton, near Liverpool in Sydney’s west, one is a teenager from Sydney’s eastern suburbs who has been linked to the Bondi cluster, and one is a woman in her 20s from Sydney’s eastern suburbs who is a close contact of a previously-confirmed case. Eleven people who attended the 30-person party in West Hoxton have contracted COVID-19, including eight announced on Wednesday after guests were told to isolate and undergo testing.

Five of the overnight cases have been linked to known infections, while the source for the sixth case is currently unknown and under urgent investigation.

We will be doing that backward tracing and going to contact upstream tracing to flush out any unknown chains of transmission,” Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said.  We are at a critical phase in the response where we want to see those cases, new cases, and unlinked cases decline.”

There are now 36 cases linked to the Bondi cluster.

On Thursday, it was also revealed two Victorian men had tested positive for the virus.

In his 60s traveled to his daughter’s home in Sydney for an event on Saturday before returning to Melbourne the following evening.

He tested positive on Thursday morning, with his boss at Sandringham Dry Cleaners on Bay Road, another man in his 60s, also returning a positive result.

Victoria will designate all Greater Sydney and Wollongong’s “red zones” from 1 am on Friday.

AdditiOn Thursday morning, Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall revealed that he had returned a positive test after dining at a Paddington pizza restaurant on Monday that was later identified as an exposure site. On locations were added to the coronavirus exposure sites overnight, including Crown Hair in Kings Cross. Anyone visiting the salon between 9 am and 5 pm on 22 June is urged to isolate and contact NSW Health.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has left isolation after he tested negative for the virus following a notification he may have come into contact with a potential positive case.

Ms. Berejiklian said she had been deemed a casual contact after returning a negative test on Thursday morning.

She said her parliamentary colleagues were undergoing screening procedures, and no one could reenter the chamber until all necessary assessments were made.

New restrictions covering Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour came into force on Wednesday afternoon.

They include a five-person visitor limit, including children, at home, compulsory face masks in all non-residential indoor settings, a ban on dancing in indoor venues, no standing up while drinking at public venues, a 20-person limit on gym classes, and compulsory masks for participants, and the reintroduction of the one person per four square meter rule at all platforms, including weddings and funerals.

Outdoor seated events are limited to 50 percent capacity. People who live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, or Woollahra local government areas are barred from leaving metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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