New South Wales has recorded 98 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 as tough new restrictions, including a pause on construction, come into force to drive down infections.
Twenty of the new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday were infectious in the community for more than one day.
“Please remember, that is the number we are really keen to nudge,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Monday.
“We need to get ahead of that number in order to reduce the cases in the community and the closer we get that number to zero, the sooner we can end the lockdown,”
Of the new local infections, 61 are linked to a known case or cluster, with 43 being household contacts and 18 close contacts. The source of infection for 37 cases is under investigation.
There are currently 82 cases of COVID-19 in hospital, with 24 people in intensive care, seven of whom require ventilation.
Ms Berejiklian said more than two-thirds of the new cases are from south-western Sydney, with the virus continuing to spread among households.
“We are seeing so many examples of entire households getting the virus, and in distress, because those that are closest to them are getting the virus because they have uninentionally or by mistake unfortunately spread the virus,” she said.
“So please, stick to your household, don’t move between households. And please make sure you keep those you love the safest.”
The premier urged families who observe Eid al-Adha – the Islamic festival of sacrifice which is usually marked by large dinners and family gatherings – to stay at home this week.
“I ask everyone to think about their loved ones… we need families to stay in their family home and not move from household to household.”
People living in Greater Sydney have entered their fourth week of lockdown as the state government imposed a raft of new restrictions over the weekend.
These include a ban on all construction work and the closure of non-essential retail outlets, excluding supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and liquor stores.
Stay-at-home orders were tightened on Saturday in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas, meaning locals are not allowed to leave until 30 July unless they are essential workers.
The premier first announced the only exceptions would be for workers in health and emergency services. But the list was expanded later on Saturday to include retail workers in shops permitted to remain open, along with teachers and freight drivers, among others.
Workers from those three LGAS who do need to leave the area for work will be required to take a COVID-19 test every three days.