Three more Sydney areas have been hit with tighter lockdown restrictions after NSW recorded 345 new COVID cases and two more deaths.
One of the deaths was a man in his 90s who had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Sydney local government areas (LGAs) of Bayside, Burwood and Strathfield have been deemed “areas of concern”, and will be subjected to extra COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from 5:00pm today.
There are now 12 LGAs of concern in Sydney.
People in these LGAs must only obtain food or other goods and services, and exercise, within 5 kilometres of their home amd cannot travel to other areas for work unless they are an authorised worker.
In Sydney, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Fairfield and Canterbury- Bankstown were still generating the most cases but seemed to be stabilising.
She said the new areas of concern have been added based on health advice.
“In relation to Bayside, the suburbs of particular concern are Bexley, Banksia and Rockdale where additional cases have been identified overnight so if you live in though suburbs in particular, please come forward and get tested,” the Premier said.
“But also of course in Strathfield and Burwood, which are geographically smaller areas but we are noticing relative to the population an increasing number of cases and as a precaution, those additional council areas have been brought into those areas of concern.”
Two men in their 90s with COVID have died. One of them had been fully vaccinated, the other had had one jab.
Deputy chief health officer Marianne Gale said one of the men who died overnight caught COVID at Liverpool Hospital and was the seventh death associated with the cluster.
“The second case is a man in his 90s who died at Royal North Shore Hospital. He was a resident of Wyoming residential aged care facility in Summer Hill,” she said.
Two of the nursing home’s residents have died from COVID after an outbreak was sparked by a Christmas themed lunch at the centre last month.
The lockdown in the Hunter and the Upper Hunter areas will be extended by another week following health advice after 25 new cases were confirmed.
There were five new cases recorded in Dubbo overnight.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Brad Hazzard has asked for federal government help and warned that health services in Western NSW are stretched thin, as the area faced a snap seven-day lockdown.
Eight Western NSW communities are locked down after a COVID-19 alert was posted overnight for the remote town of Walgett which has a large Indigenous population.
A man from Walgett tested positive to the virus and was in Dubbo and Bathurst while infectious, health authorities said.
When asked if he was “confident” there were enough resources in Western NSW to handle a COVID outbreak, Mr Hazzard said: “No I’m not, I make that very clear.”
He said he wrote to the federal government last night to request more support, and that the NSW government had already made “urgent decisions” in the area.
The NSW and federal governments have sent 4,200 vaccines to Walgett.
“There are very strong Indigenous communities, the second biggest building Walgett is the Aboriginal Medical Service and I received text messages last night that they are short-staffed,” Mr Hazzard said.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing said 407 infringement notices had been issued yesterday and that police would be asking for extra powers to ensure compliance with health orders.
“I have spoken to the Commissioner [Mick Fuller] this morning, he is working with a team of government officials and has been consulting with the executive and regional commanders across the state to determine what that may look like,” he said.
There were 116 cases in isolation throughout their infectious period and 34 were in isolation for part of their infectious period.
Fifty-seven cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 138 remains under investigation.
There are currently 374 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 62 people in intensive care and 29 requiring ventilation.
There were a record 151,830 tests completed in the reporting period.