New South Wales has reported 124 new locally acquired cases of coronavirus, its highest daily tally of the year.
Of the new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, 48 people were infectious in the community.
The cases come from a record 85,000 tests.
NSW recorded 124 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. pic.twitter.com/4y3TvoDUpF
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 22, 2021
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says given the number of people infectious in the community, she expects the number of cases to rise even higher.
“We anticipate case numbers will continue to go up before they start coming down and we need to brace ourselves for that,” she told reporters on Thursday.
Of the new locally acquired cases, 67 are linked to a known case or cluster, 45 are household contacts and 22 are close contacts. The source of infection for 57 cases is under investigation.
The NSW figures come as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her state’s border with NSW would close from 1am on Friday.
“This is an important step that allows Queensland to safely ease COVID-19 restrictions across the state,” she said.
BREAKING: Queensland’s border with New South Wales will close from 1am Friday to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) July 22, 2021
A list of exposure sites published by NSW Health on Wednesday evening focused on Sydney’s west, with pharmacies in Merrylands, Auburn and Punchbowl among the venues.
A gardening shop in Mascot was exposed for a three-hour stretch on Saturday.
Three sites in Wollongong and nearby Fairy Meadow also made the list.
The Palms aged care facility at Kirrawee, in southern Sydney, has confirmed a positive COVID-19 case among its staff.
A statement on the facility’s website said most residents were fully vaccinated, and all would be treated as close contacts while the situation was assessed in more detail.
NSW Health has extended its advice on surveillance testing to include health and aged care workers who live in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA.
From Friday 23 July, these workers will be required to get a COVID-19 test every three days in order to leave the area for work.
Meanwhile, people in the central-western town of Orange and its surrounds are in their second full day of a seven-day lockdown after a COVID-19 positive delivery driver from Sydney visited the area and infected another person.
The lockdown in the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne local government areas marks the first time a stay-at-home order has been imposed in regional NSW.