New South Wales set a new record for daily COVID-19 infections with 830 cases reported in the last 24 hours.
The death toll from the current outbreak now stands at 71 with three more fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.
“To each of those peoples’ families, I want to express my condolences to them,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
An unvaccinated woman in her 80s from south-western Sydney died at Wollongong Hospital.
A man in his 60s from south-western Sydney, who was vaccinated with one shot, died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
A man in his 70s from south-eastern Sydney, also vaccinated with one shot, died at St George Hospital – the second death linked to the outbreak at the hospital.
At least 69 cases were in the community for whole or part of their infectious period. NSW Health said 693 cases have yet to be linked to a known case or cluster.
The hospital system is treating 550 people for COVID-19, with 94 people in ICU.
“The hospital capacity is still substantial,” Mr Hazzard said. “We’re nowhere near that point (of being overwhelmed).”
He said the case numbers reflect what happened 14 days ago, which will inform how the COVID-19 restrictions will be managed.
“We just need everybody to go back to basics and the basics are this virus can only move from one person to another if you are in close proximity.”
Eighty per cent of the new cases were from the local government areas of concern in western and south-western Sydney.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys condemned anti-lockdown protesters who gathered in Sydney’s CBD yesterday.
He said the deployment of 1,500 officers ensured the planned large-scale protest did not happen.
He warned protesters against any further gatherings.
“Nothing surprises us about what these sorts of people may be planning and we are well in front of it. New South Wales police force will put together a policing response to whatever is required.”
Deputy Commissioner Worboys warned that police would be stringently enforcing the 9pm curfew coming into effect tomorrow night.
“What we have found in some of those LGA is in Southwest and Western Sydney, that there is still a desire… surrounding young men wanting to leave their home and go about various engagements and activities through all hours of the night and this curfew will signal that this is the time that that sort of behaviour must stop.”
The state also processed a record of more than 206,000 tests, as labs caught up on a backlog of about 60,000 results.
NSW deputy chief health officer Dr Marianne Gale said teams are working to clear the backlog.
“Our teams have been working to catch up on the backlog of negative tests and getting that into the system. That backlog has not affected any positive results. They have all come through a separate mechanism,” she said.
“We estimate that to be around a backlog of 60,000 that is now a quarter, so the actual real reflection of test reported is around 140,000.”
The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 5,868,974. At least 57 per cent of the adult population in the state has received one vaccine dose. Thirty per cent are fully vaccinated.
“If our community keeps getting their vaccines the way they are, New South Wales will look pretty good by October, November,” Mr Hazzard said.
“I’m really encouraged by the positivity in the community in getting vaccinated.”