Man dies of COVID-19 at home in southwest Sydney marking the fourteenth death linked to outbreak

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New South Wales has recorded another death from COVID-19 after a man in his 60s died at home in southwest Sydney.

It’s the 14th death of the state’s current outbreak, which started in mid-June.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Saturday that he did not know whether the man had been tested for the virus before his death, but that his family was suffering symptoms.

Hazzard described a “terrible situation” where families, particularly in the southwest, are not coming forward when one of them falls ill.

He suggested that some people may be worried about their ability to go to work and get an income if it’s known there is a case in their household, but said there was government help available.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

The state recorded 210 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.

Up to 152 of those cases may have been active in the community while infectious. Twenty-one cases are known to have been infectious in the community, 11 people were in isolation for part of the infectious period, and the isolation status of the other 120 is still under investigation.

Hazzard warned that the Delta variant was “partial to younger people”, with just under two-thirds of the new cases aged under 40.

Younger people are also being hospitalised, he said.

COVID-19 hospitalisations continue to rise in New South Wales. File.
COVID-19 hospitalisations continue to rise in New South Wales. File. Credit: Sorrasak Jar Tinyo/Getty Images

Of the 53 people in intensive care, six are in their 20s, four are in their 30s, one is in their 40s, 18 are in their 50s, 14 are in their 60s, nine are in their 70s and one is in their 80s.

“The older age brackets are actually having less numbers now, it is the younger people who are actually taking up places in our intensive care units,” he said.

There are 203 people in hospital with COVID-19 in NSW. Twenty-seven are ventilated.

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‘It is the younger people who are actually taking up places in our intensive care units.’

“By far the majority” of new cases continued to be diagnosed in Sydney’s southwest and western Sydney, Hazzard said.

Eighty-one people tested positive in the South Western Sydney Local Health District and 72 in Western Sydney LHD.

Transmission within households in those areas continues to be very dangerous, Hazzard said.

The risk of COVID-positive patients coming into hospital and sending hundreds of health workers into isolation has led the state to suspend non-urgent elective surgery.

But Hazzard said a number of procedures will be dealt with by the private health system instead.

Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are in lockdown until at least August 28, as health authorities battle to contain a outbreak of the virulent Delta strain.

Construction restart

Saturday marked the return to work for the construction sector after a fortnight-long enforced break, with work allowed to resume on non-occupied sites provided COVID-safe plans are in force.

But the sector cannot call on 68,000 workers – or 42 per cent of the workforce – from eight council areas worst-hit by the city’s coronavirus outbreak.

Construction outside Greater Sydney’s eight COVID-affected LGAs will resume on Saturday. Credit: AAP

The state’s workplace safety regulator says construction sites should expect a visit to ensure they’re complying with public health orders.

“SafeWork NSW will work with businesses to help them understand the rules – and will penalise firms blatantly making no effort to comply,” the organisation’s Director of Construction Metropolitan, Meagan McCool, said.

Meanwhile, in Sydney’s east, nine businesses at Bondi Beach have been banned from selling takeaway liquor for a week over concerns they were encouraging people to breach public health orders.

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