WATCH LIVE: Gladys Berejiklian press conference today new NSW COVID-19 cases and Sydney lockdown update
Greater Sydney residents look likely to be forced into tightened lockdown restrictions with the number of new local cases out in the community while infectious remaining stubbornly high.
With the number of cases in the community while infectious failing to slide despite three weeks of lockdown, the NSW government crisis cabinet met on Friday afternoon to consider harsher COVID-19 lockdown settings.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Health Office Kerry Chant are expected to provide a COVID-19 update at 11am AEST on Saturday. You can watch it LIVE in the video player above as soon as it’s available.
The outcome of that meeting will be revealed on Saturday.
Sydney lockdown update
The Australian Medical Association on Friday called for a harder NSW lockdown, including the closure of all non-essential retail and business activity.
It also wanted stronger limits on travel distances from home.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wouldn’t “hesitate to go harder” on restrictions, but only if they had a tangible public health benefit.
She also warned case numbers would likely surge again at the weekend.
“We need to make sure that any decisions we take will have the desired effect of reducing those numbers,” Berejiklian told reporters.
Three-quarters of the new recorded cases were found in the Fairfield local government area, which has become the epicentre of the outbreak.
From Saturday, essential workers who live in the Fairfield area but work elsewhere will be obliged to take a COVID-19 test every three days. There are currently three 24-hour testing clinics in the council area.
Fairfield-based essential workers who are asymptomatic are permitted to seek COVID-19 testing closer to their place of work, rather than wait in queues.
NSW Health COVID-19 update
NSW on Friday recorded 97 new local virus cases, with at least 46 out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
The outbreak has passed 1000 cases since it began on June 16.
NSW Police will be out in force over the weekend after hundreds of infringement notices were handed out to people breaching public health orders.
“We will continue to work with the community to achieve compliance, but we will enforce the Health Order where community safety is put at risk,” Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said in a statement.
NSW Health has confirmed a healthcare worker at Liverpool and Campbelltown hospitals returned a positive test to COVID-19, after a patient tested positive.
Non-urgent surgery has been postponed at both hospitals.
NSW Health COVID hotspots
New exposure sites were on Friday night issued for several venues, including multiple supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies.
Several public transport routes were also listed as exposure sites.
The NSW government said on Friday night anyone travelling to the state from Victoria will be required to follow stay-at-home rules.
See the full list of latest COVID-19 hotspots here.