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NSW records 105 new cases and one new death as new restrictions come into force

New South Wales has recorded 105 new local cases in the past 24 hours and one new death. 

Of those, 66 are linked to a known cluster and 55 are close contacts. The source of infection for 39 cases is under investigation.

Of the new cases, 34 were active in the community during their infectious period.

Seventy-six cases have been hospitalised, with 18 people in intensive care, seven on ventilation.

A woman in her 90s in southeastern Sydney has died, the fourth fatality linked to this outbreak.

Over 66,000 tests were recorded in the past 24 hours.

The results come a day after sweeping new restrictions were put in place for the next two weeks to “quash” the virus.

“I am not embarrassed to say that in public life, yesterday was probably the most difficult day I’ve had personally because we don’t take these decisions lightly,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

She cautioned that numbers were not expected “shift massively” for at least three days.

“But we want the community to be more vigilant than ever before because I am convinced that working together we will start to see those numbers nudge,” she said.

“I don’t think there is anybody who wants to see this lockdown last longer than it needs to. That is why we are throwing everything at it because we have a 2-week window when we are in a hard lockdown to be able to crush this thing.” 

Fairfield, Bankstown, Liverpool, Lakemba, Bayside, Sutherland, and Western Sydney remain among the areas of concern for testing.

“I really want to see a big rise in testing in Western Sydney, particularly in Cumberland and Mt Druitt,” Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

Health authorities have also detected virus fragments in sewage in Wollongong, yet to register a case.

Dr Chant also asked worshippers marking Eid to remain at home during the religious festival. 

“I know this is a very special time for many in our community. I just want to reiterate that we are asking that prayers be only performed in your house and please again, do not have visitors to your home including family members, and do not visit others,” she said.

On Saturday stay-at-home orders were tightened in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool with locals not allowed to leave until 30 July unless they work in essential jobs, including health and emergency workers.

The list of ‘authorised workers’ permitted to leave these LGAs was expanded late on Saturday expanded to include people working at supermarkets, bottle shops, kiosks, newsagents, office and pet supplies stores and garden centres.

The Premier defended the late amendments to the health order amid reports of confusion.

“We need to make sure we rely firstly on the health advice…but that also involves making sure there are supply chains, food supply, all those things that keep us going,” she said. 

“It would be irresponsible of us to exclude people who need to get around…and make sure they are providing essential food and services.”

Workers from those three LGAs who do need to leave the area for work will have to take a COVID-19 test every three days.

From Sunday, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and few other retailers will be allowed to open and will have to operate with ‘click and collect’ or takeaway.

Construction sites, large or small, will be shut, with progress on government infrastructure projects paused.

All office workers and others working from home should not be pressured to go into work, with employers to potentially incur a $10,000 fine if they push staff to attend.

Sydneysiders have also been instructed not to carpool with anyone.

The premier said she would not rule further “tweaks” to the restrictions to ensure potential risks have not been missed.

From Monday, impacted businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $1,500 through Service New South Wales.

Treasurer Dominic Perrotet urged calm and patience from business owners promising grants would be processed within three days.

NSW Police have reiterated people breaching public health orders could face stiff penalties after three covid-positive removalists were found to have travelled from Greater Sydney to Molong in regional New South Wales.

“Police found the behaviour from these three people to be particularly disturbing,” Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys told reporters.

“Despite the best health advice, they continued on their journey. They left their home in Greater Sydney and put significant risk on the people in regional New South Wales.” 

The three gentlemen have been issued with court attendance notice and could face a maximum penalty of $11,000 or six months jail.

“There is a strong sense that country people simply will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and they feel it puts them at great risk,” Mr Warboys said.

Additional reporting: AAP

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