Eighteen new locally transmitted coronavirus cases have been detected in New South Wales, down from 30 the previous day, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged the community to prepare for numbers to increase again.
All but one of the new cases are linked to previously reported infections, including 15 linked to the Bondi cluster and two who are close contacts of a previously reported unlinked case.
Investigations are continuing to confirm the source of the final infection, which health authorities said could have been contracted at Westfield Bondi Junction.
The new cases were detected from almost 59,000 tests, and take the total number of infections recorded in the state since the start of the outbreak on 16 June to 130.
Six of the new cases were in isolation through the entirety of their infectious period but “some, unfortunately, were active in the community”, Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Monday.
“While the numbers today are less than the numbers yesterday, we have to be prepared for the numbers to bounce around and we have to be prepared for the numbers to go up considerably,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Because we are seeing almost 100 per cent transmission within households and are very high rate of transmissibility.”
Two South Coogee Public School students were among the new cases announced on Monday, both close contacts of the two previously reported cases at the school.
All students are now considered close contacts and must undergo testing and isolate for 14-days regardless of a negative test result.
A further five cases have been linked to the Great Ocean Foods seafood wholesaler in Marrickville, bringing the number of cases linked to the location to 16.
Two have been linked to the party in West Hoxton near Liverpool, with 31 people now having contracted the virus through connection to the gathering. This number includes 24 guests who attended the party and their close contacts.
A, including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, came into force on Saturday evening, a day after residents of four Sydney local government areas were issued stay-at-home orders.
Sydney’s central business district was a virtual ghost town on Monday morning with all but essential workers ordered to work from home.
People who leave their homes without a valid reason could be subject to a $1,000 fine.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Monday detailed a bizarre example of people breaching the stay-at-home order, after two men, who were sunbaking naked, were startled by a deer prompting them to run into the national part where they got lost.
“Not only did they require assistance from SES and police to rescue them, they also both received a ticket for $1,000,” he said.
An ever-growingwas updated overnight to include three light rail routes through Sydney’s CBD and a number of restaurants, retailers and cafes across Sydney.
There were now a “large number” of exposure sites and “thousands and thousands” of close contacts, Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said on Monday, flagging it would be some time before case numbers begin to decline.
“We will need at least another five days to see this picture turnaround,” she said.
“The restrictions came in towards the end of last week … but the cases we have now reflect exposures that occurred and therefore it is important the community understands that the numbers are not expected to decline for another five days.”
Meanwhile, Ms Berejiklian urged all NSW residents who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible, reiterating that it is one of the permitted reasons to leave home.
“It doesn’t matter how good the systems are, outbreaks are going to occur from time to time, disruptions will continue until the vast majority is vaccinated,” she said.
“There is no doubt the vaccination is our key to freedom into the future.”
Outbreaks around Australia
In Queensland, a female mine worker was confirmed to have the highly contagious Delta variant after spending a day in the community while infectious.
The woman tested positive in Queensland after returning from work in the Northern Territory, where authorities are battling an outbreak at the Granites mine in the Tanami desert, 540km northwest of Alice Springs.
She was one of two new locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases reported on Monday, the other being a man linked to the Portuguese restaurant cluster who was already in isolation.
In response, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday announced a slew of new restrictions flagging that the state is “on the verge of lockdown”.
The Northern Territory has recorded five COVID-19 cases linked to the Granites mine. They are likely to involve the highly contagious Delta variant, with more infections expected.
Darwin and its surrounding areas have been placed in a snap 48-hour lockdown starting at 1pm on Sunday after 900 workers left the mine after a man had earlier tested positive.
Western Australia recorded no new cases of coronavirus on Monday, a day after reporting one new COVID-19 case in a traveller returning from Sydney, who is expected to have the Delta variant.
As a result, new lockdown restrictions have been imposed on the Perth and Peel regions for three days.
Victoria also recorded no new COVID-19 cases on Monday.