Covid 19 coronavirus Australia: NSW hits bleak new record with 919 community cases; lockdown decision imminent

New South Wales has reported a record 919 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

The state also recorded two more Covid-related deaths – a woman in her 30s in Sydney’s west, which was announced earlier, and a man in his 80s from Sydney’s north.

The man acquired his infection at the Greenwood Aged Care in Normanhurst. His is the third death linked to an outbreak at the aged care facility.

Of today’s new cases, 106 were in isolation throughout their infectious period,18 were in isolation for part of their infectious period and 37 cases were infectious in the community. The isolation status of 758 cases remains under investigation.

There are now 645 Covid patients in NSW hospitals, including 113 in intensive care, 40 of whom require ventilation.

The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 6,143,824.

Earlier, Berejiklan said new freedoms for fully vaccinated NSW residents could be announced as early as tomorrow, with the final details being worked out now.

She said vaccination was still the most important figure moving forward.

“As soon as we had all those milestones, we will have those extra freedoms. We’re looking forward as a team to announce tomorrow or the day after what those are for those who are fully vaccinated,” Berejiklian said.

“When you get 70 per cent double dose … you start to transition into talking about the rate of hospitalisation, not the number of cases. The number of cases becomes less relevant.

“Don’t get me wrong. Every day we want to see case numbers go down, not up.

“Moving forward, the most important number for us is how many people are protected and have that suit of armour because we know that keep people out of hospital.”

Victoria

There has been a positive reduction in the overall number of new daily Covid infections in Victoria today — but the state has seen a rise in mystery cases and cases who were out in the community.

Of the 45 local cases reported in the state, 36 are linked to current outbreaks and 17 have been in quarantine throughout their infectious period.

That means 28 of the new cases were out in the community, and nine new mystery cases were detected.

Premier Daniel Andrews has repeatedly said he wants to see multiple days of zero cases in isolation before lifting Victoria’s lockdown, but Health Department sources have reportedly said they may now be looking at a broader goal.

It means the state may not need to wait until there are single-digit case increases each day before the lockdown lifts.

Sources told the Herald Sun the statewide lockdown could be lifted with double-digit daily cases if authorities believe contact tracers have “got their arms around” the outbreak.

A Health Department source said: “It will be more about how many mystery cases are there. Do the contact tracers believe they have their arms around it?”

The lockdown is supposed to end on September 2.

Queensland

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced all arrivals from NSW, the ACT and Victoria will be banned from entering the Sunshine State from midday today after it was “overwhelmed” by arrivals.

Taking to Twitter, the Premier said the pause on arrivals from the three jurisdictions was in response to people “relocating to escape interstate lockdowns, placing huge pressure on our hotel quarantine system”.

“We’re pausing interstate hotspot arrivals immediately. This is about keeping Queenslanders safe from the Delta variant.

“We do not have any room at the moment. Queensland is being loved to death.”

Queensland recorded no new Covid cases today, and two truck drivers who tested positive on Tuesday are now being classified as false positives.

Palaszczuk said she was forced to implement the new rules because the state was “scrambling” for quarantine hotels.

“We are really concerned about the pressure that the hotel quarantine system is putting on our resources,” she said.

The Premier said there would be exemptions for those people who were travelling to Queensland on compassionate leave or to have medical procedures.

As of yesterday, 5114 people were in 22 quarantine hotels in Queensland – 3257 from interstate and 1857 from overseas.

The Premier said between August 9-20, 2750 people were granted border passes to relocate to Queensland – nearly 2000 of those in a single week.

ACT

The ACT has reported nine new Covid-19 infections as Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed Canberra would not receive an early mark from lockdown.

The total number of active cases in the community is now 176.

Of today’s cases, eight are linked to known cases and one is under investigation.

Barr confirmed a person was in a critical condition in hospital. In total, seven people are receiving treatment for the virus in hospital.

More than 400 exposure locations have been identified across the territory.

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