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NSW records 356 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases and three more deaths

New South Wales has recorded 356 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 and three further deaths.

The three deaths reported overnight include a man in his 80s, a woman in her 80s and another man in his 70s. None of the three people were vaccinated.

“Of course, we extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to all the loved ones of those three patients,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

“As always, [it’s] so sad when you hear about deaths especially from elderly people who – unfortunately for whatever reason won’t get vaccinated – because that is proving to be an ongoing challenge. Those who have had two doses of vaccination have so far avoided any ICU, mortality.”

The premier said around one third of the new local COVID-19 cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday were in the community while infectious.

‘Strong suppression works’
Ms Berejiklian did not rule out further restrictions such as a curfew or a “ring of steel”, but said the focus was on vaccination to reduce the spread of the virus.

“If health advice adjusted to us there was further needed do, we would do it. We have to accept that part of the challenge we have New South Wales is because of lack of compliance and part of the challenge is because Delta is very different to anything we have seen before.”

She said the stricter restrictions for the eight local government areas in western and south-west Sydney had prevented a further skyrocketing of new infections.

“Strong suppression works in that we don’t have hundreds of thousands of cases and deaths.”

She said “further freedoms” would come if the state’s vaccination rate gets to six million doses administered by the end of August – 50 per cent of the adult population in the state.

“That gives us a chance to see what people can do in September and October but it is really important to ensure we provide the vaccine, targeted strategy to reduce the spread especially amongst key worker groups.”

Two schools and another apartment block added to exposure site list
It comes as the list of exposure sites has expanded to include Sydney’s Bondi Beach Public School and Shortland Public School in Newcastle.

Another apartment block in Sydney’s west has been put into lockdown after COVID-19 cases were detected.

Residents in the Astina apartments in Penrith are being deemed closed contacts. All visitors to the complex over three days last week are being urged to get tested and isolate for a fortnight.