Sydney’s Covid crisis exploded overnight with a pandemic-high 356 cases with at least 100 of those infectious in the community.

Another three deaths were recorded as New South Wales battles the deadly Delta variant on multiple fronts across the state.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new deaths were a man and a woman in their 80s from south-west Sydney and another man in his 70s from the city’s west.

None of them were vaccinated and all of them died in hospital. The man in his 80s was connected to the Liverpool Hospital outbreak, which has now infected 29 patients and is linked to six Covid-19 deaths.

NSW Health understands about a third of the cases were infectious in the community. 

More than six weeks into a strict stay-at-home lockdown across Greater Sydney, the embattled state leader admitted even the toughest restrictions would do little to stop the relentless spread of the highly-contagious Delta strain.  

‘Strategies that may have worked in the past aren’t going to have effect with Delta. It is something we need to accept,’ she said.  

‘Your approach has to be different.  Fortunately, we have what we didn’t have before – a vaccine.’

She said a ‘targeted’ vaccination approach in the city’s Covid-stricken western and south-western suburbs was the only way to drive down transmission of the virus.

A Sydneysider holding a coffee exercises at Bondi Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on August 10. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has admitted even the toughest lockdown restrictions would do little to stop the spread of the city’s Delta outbreak

‘A targeted approach in those local government areas with our vaccine strategies is key to reducing those case numbers,’ she said. 

Health authorities said 234 cases – almost two-thirds of the infections – were found in Sydney’s west and south-west, while the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA remains the epicentre of the outbreak.

In a promising sign though for locked-down towns in regional NSW, no further cases were found in Tamworth, Armidale or Byron Bay in the state’s north-east. 

The growth in cases was announced just hours after a school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs was forced to close as the Delta outbreak threatened to return to the area.   

Families with children at Bondi Beach Public School were informed by authorities on Monday night to keep children at home when it was discovered an infected student had attended class before recording a positive Covid test.

The current outbreak first took hold in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in June, prompting a targeted lockdown of four LGAs in the area including the Sydney CBD, before moving across into south-west Sydney. 

Cleaners are pictured at Bondi Beach public school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Tuesday. The school is undergoing a deep clean after a student tested positive to Covid

Eastern suburbs schools including South Coogee Public and St Charles’ Catholic Primary School in Waverley were closed during the initial outbreak. 

In a letter, Bondi Beach Public School principal Gai O’Neill told families they would receive more information on how long their kids should isolate later today.

‘The NSW Department of Education has been advised by NSW Health that a student at our school has tested positive for Covid-19,’ Principal Gai O’Neill wrote in a letter to parents.

‘All students and staff are asked to to self isolate until you receive further advice.’

Two masked police officers walk past Bondi Beach Public School on Tuesday after the school was closed to allow a deep clean to take place

Families at Shortland Public School near Newcastle were provided the same advice after a ‘member of the school community’ returned a positive test.    

‘Just isolate and await further advice at this stage,’ the school’s Facebook page informs. ‘We will know more today after advice from NSW Health.’ 

Both schools were undergoing contact tracing and deep cleaning procedures.  

A Sydneysider is pictured walking through Fairfield in the city’s Covid-hit south-west on Tuesday

Melbourne’s chances of emerging from its sixth lockdown this week meanwhile have been dealt another blow after Victoria recorded 20 new cases on Tuesday.

Thousands more Melburnians were plunged into isolation after dozens of Covid-19 exposure sites were added to the city’s list, which has blown out to 246. 

They included two Bunnings stores, a Target, Coles, Woolworths, Myer, Aldi, and Chemist Warehouse.

All of the 20 new cases were locally acquired and linked to known clusters, but all but five of them were in the community while infectious. 

New South Wales has recorded another 356 cases of Covid-19 overnight – a new pandemic record for the state

The number of cases infectious in the community in the next two days is the key to whether Premier Daniel Andrews will release Melbourne from lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday as planned.

Sources close to the Victorian health department expressed concerns about the risk of a potential super-spreading event if the city was lifted from lockdown too soon, the Herald Sun reported.

If lockdown is extended it might only be for the weekend to restrict social contact, and lift early next week, depending on the number of cases in the interim. 

The premier said it was ‘far too soon’ to make a decision about extending lockdown.

There are growing fears Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended beyond midnight Thursday

‘Things can move rapidly but I just can’t predict what’s going to happen on Thursday… it’s not a tick and flick,’ he told reporters on Monday.

‘It’s a detailed process the government goes through to determine what is proportionate.’

The number of active cases in Victoria now stands at 111. 

Almost 35,000 Victorians came forward for testing on Monday while 22,670 rolled up their sleeves for the Covid vaccine.

Lockdown restrictions have been lifted in regional Victoria while Melburnians (pictured on Monday) will remain lockdown for another few days at least

Anyone who was at The Coffee Club Cafe at CS Square in Caroline Springs on Auguste 5 between 1-2.30pm is deemed a close contact

Dozens of new exposure sites were released on Monday night, including Myer’s cosmetic and fragrance department at Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong and The Coffee Club Cafe at CS Square, in Caroline Springs, both deemed as close contact sites.

Australian Rules matches played at Shorten Reserve in West Footscray on July 31 are also classified as a tier one site, so anyone at the ground that day must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days. 

Regional Victoria has been released from lockdown after four days of no new cases from the state’s coronavirus outbreak. 

‘So that means the five reasons to leave home are no longer relevant, schools will be open again, hospitality venues will be open,’ Mr Andrews said.

‘We don’t want this virus to spread but this is very positive news and speaks to the fact that we do have a degree of containment around these cases.’

Five of the 20 new cases recorded in Victoria on Tuesday were infectious in the community. Pictured is Flinders Street Station on Monday

Cafes and restaurants in regional Victoria will be able to reopen to diners from Tuesday. Pictured is a hotel in Ballarat

The Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula regions on Melbourne’s outskirts will remain in lockdown, as they are considered part of the metro area.

Residents and business operators in both regions pleaded to be released from lockdown as neither has recorded a single case in more than year.

The town of Garfield, 79 km south-east of Melbourne is also in lockdown as it’s part of the metropolitan council shire of Cardinia, despite never recording a single case of Covid-19.

‘A pony walked into our bar six weeks ago. You just have to step foot in our town to see that we’re so far away from anything that’s considered metropolitan,’ Garfield Hotel owner Brad Alden-Brown told the Herald Sun.

The premier defended his decision to plunge the whole state into lockdown at the start of outbreak last week, saying it was unclear where the outbreak was and how far it had spread, so he had to lock down the whole state.

Covid-19 fragments were detected in wastewater in Wangaratta, 236km north-east of Melbourne

Melburnians are warned to not travel to regional areas when lockdown restrictions are eased in regional Victoria from midnight Tuesday

However, after four days of no cases in regional areas it was clear the outbreak was confined to Melbourne.

‘You’ve got to take a conservative approach, particularly with Delta,’ Mr Andrews said. ‘The advice was to lock everything down.’

‘The fair and proportionate thing to do is to reopen regional Victoria.’ 

Private home gatherings are still not allowed in regional Victoria but outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people in public places are permitted. 

Face masks will also still be mandatory indoors and outdoors.

Regional residents can now travel more freely but must have a permitted reason to travel to Melbourne and must follow metropolitan restrictions while they’re there.

MELBOURNE EXPOSURE SITES 

 Tier one sites

Anyone who visited these sites at the times listed must get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result. 

IPC Health St Albans, 1 Andrea Street, St Albans, 04/08/2021 9:45am – 11:40am 

Wolf Cafe & Eatery, 21 Lobelia Drive, Altona North, 02/08/2021 6:30am – 11:00pm, 03/08/2021 6:30am – 11:00pm, 04/08/2021 6:30am – 11:00pm, 05/08/2021 6:30am – 11:00pm 

Bus route 456, (Towards Sunshine Station) from Melton Bus Interchange/Palmerston Street to Rockbank Middle Road/St Georges Avenue, 05/08/2021 12:48pm – 1:14pm 

Chef Lagenda – Deer Park, Shop 9/10, 835 Ballarat Road, 04/08/2021 12:15pm – 1:30pm 

Public Toilets adjacent to Coles Burnside – Burnside Hub Shopping Centre, Western Highway and Westwood Drive, Burnside, 05/08/2021 2:15pm – 2:35pm 

The Coffee Club Cafe – CS Square, Shop L01 14-15, 29-35 Lake Street, Caroline Springs, 05/08/2021 1:00pm – 2:30pm 

Rapid Laser, 5 Elsum Avenue, Bayswater North, 05/08/2021 1:30pm – 8:30pm

Myer (Cosmetics Fragrance Department) – Highpoint Shopping Centre, Level 3, 120-200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong, 01/08/2021 1:30pm – 2:00pm

Newport vs West Footscray football game at Shorten Reserve (Newport Seniors players and Seniors reserves; West Footscray Seniors players and Seniors umpires)(West Footscray reserves and reserves umpires; Wyndham Women’s players), 31/07/2021 12:10pm – 5:30pm

TyrePlus Hoppers Crossing, 346 Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing, 04/08/2021 8:00am – 6:30pm, 03/08/2021 8:00am – 6:30pm, 05/08/2021 8:00am – 6:30pm, 06/08/2021 8:00am – 6:30pm, 07/08/2021 8:00am – 6:30pm

Kockums Bulk Systems PTY Ltd., 139 Bamfield Road, Heidelberg West, 05/08/2021 8:00am – 5:00pm, 06/08/2021 8:00am – 5:00pm

YPA Real Estate – CS Square, 38/29-35 Lake Street, Caroline Springs, 02/08/2021 9:00am – 5:30pm, 03/08/2021 9:00am – 4:50pm, 04/08/2021 9:00am – 3:30pm, 05/08/2021 9:00am – 4:20pm

Tier two

Anyone who visited these venues at the times listed must get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.

Bendigo Bank Heidelberg, 164 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg, 05/08/2021 3:30pm – 4:00pm

Bunnings Northland, 120 Chifley Drive (Corner Murray Road), Preston, 05/08/2021 4:40pm – 5:30pm 

Chemist Warehouse – Burnside, 18/15-25 Westwood Drive, 07/08/2021 11:40am – 12:15pm 

Coles Taylors Hill, Gourlay Road and Hume Drive, 06/08/2021 9:00am – 10:15am 

New Oriental Cafe, Unit 56, 29-35 Lake Street, Caroline Springs, 05/08/2021 12:20pm – 12:40pm 

Target – CS Square, 29 – 35 Lake Street, Caroline Springs, 05/08/2021 12:00pm – 12:35pm

Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses – Caroline Springs, 13/19 Lake Street, 05/08/2021 10:45am – 11:05am  

 Rare Spares – Bayswater, 160 Canterbury Road, Bayswater North, 05/08/2021 2:30pm – 3:00pm

NAB Branch – CS Square, Shop 40/29-35 Lake St, Caroline Springs, 04/08/2021 1:40pm – 2:45pm

ALDI Watergardens (Taylors Lakes), Watergardens Town Centre, 399 Melton Highway, 07/08/2021 9:25am – 10:00am

Caltex Woolworths, 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes, 07/08/2021 8:35am – 8:50am 

Woolworths – Watergardens Town Centre, 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes, 07/08/2021 8:50am – 9:45am 

Lucia’s Euro Deli – Watergardens Town Centre, 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes, 07/08/2021 9:50am – 10:25am

The Good Guys – Watergardens Town Centre, 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes, 05/08/2021 7:03pm – 7:30pm 

Bunnings – Taylors Lakes, 430 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes, 05/08/2021 6:49pm – 7:00pm 

Liquorland Cairnlea, 100 Furlong Road, Cairnlea, 06/08/2021 10:45am – 12:15pm, 07/08/2021 10:45am – 12:15pm

Silver Water Car Wash Service – Highpoint Shopping Centre, 120-200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong, 01/08/2021 2:45pm – 3:00pm

Newport vs West Footscray football game at Shorten Reserve (Wyndham Women’s umpires; West Footscray Women’s players; spectators), 81 Essex Street, West Footscray, 31/07/2021 12:10pm – 5:30pm

Tier 3 site

Anyone who visited this venue at the times listed must monitor for symptoms.

Cairnlea Town Centre, 100 Furlong Road, Cairnlea, 06/08/2021 10:45am – 12:15pm, 07/08/2021 10:45am – 12:15pm

Melburnians were reminded they cannot travel within the state unless they ‘absolutely have to’ and must have a valid reason.

‘You won’t be able to buy so much as a litre of milk without establishing that you’re from regional Victoria,’ Mr Andrews warned.

‘Don’t be putting yourself in a situation where a shopkeeper is going to have to ask you [where you’ve come from] or Victoria Police member is going to pull you over to have to ask you and your answer… will not be a valid answer.

‘Use common sense. Please make good decision, sound decisions.’ 

That 10 of the cases were infectious in the community increases the likelihood lockdown will be extended beyond Thursday night with 103 active cases across the state. 

New restrictions on regional Victoria- what you can and can’t do

Lockdown ends in regional Victoria from 11.59pm Monday

Private home gatherings are still banned

Outdoor gatherings in public spaces of up to 10 people are permitted

Masks are still mandatory indoors and outdoors

Schools and shops can reopen

Food and hospitality venues will open for seated service only with one person per four square metres, with a maximum of 100 people per venue

Personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume

Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed with one person per four square metres, and no more than 100 people indoors, 300 outdoors

Weddings and funerals can have up to 50 people

Community sport is open for all ages, including training and competition but spectators are banned

There are no travel limits but regional Victorians can only travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and must follow Melbourne restrictions while there.

One case was in quarantine throughout their infectious period and Mr Andrews anticipated this trend would continue.

‘We’re starting to see now the first of the new cases coming through that have been tucked away, no risk to public health, they’ve been in iso for 100 per cent of their infectious period. That’s the system working as it should,’ he said.

The premier said Victoria needed to get to as close to zero cases infectious in the community as possible, ‘that gives us the best chance of getting open and staying open’. 

Mr Andrews said a decision about lockdown wouldn’t be made until later in the week but he understood the community concerns about the uncertainty.

‘That decision will not be made today or tomorrow but as close to that time as possible so we have the most complete picture and the most recent data,’ he said.

‘I can’t tell you what I’ll be announcing on Wednesday or Thursday… no decision has been made and won’t be today or tomorrow. I wish I knew, I wish I could tell you now.’

There are growing fears Victoria will extend its lockdown beyond Thursday night. Pictured are Melburnians exercising on Sunday

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews won’t make a decision about Melbourne lockdown until Wednesday at the earliest

‘That is the way it has always been done. As soon as we can give people clarity about what next week looks like we will absolutely do but we will take our time to properly consider not just how many cases but where they were, how long they were out in the community, all of those things.

‘I don’t for a moment pretend is it isn’t frustrating. Everyone wants certainty about what is happening tomorrow, next week, next month. 

‘But that isn’t the nature of this global pandemic particularly at virus that is changing, particularly this Delta variant.’

The latest cases include a customer linked to the Caroline Springs shopping centre outbreak and a young child linked to the Newport Football Club case in Melbourne’s west.

Seven linked to the CS Square outbreak in Caroline Springs, five of which are members of a household of the real estate agent authorities mentioned on Sunday.

The former Bunnings site in Melton in Melbourne’s west is home to Australia’s first drive-through vaccination clinic. Pictured are staff at the clinic’s launch on Sunday

The other cases linked to the shopping centre outbreak are a new case linked to The Jolly Miller and a customer at the Spectacle Hub.

Victoria’s chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton thanked families of those affected by the Al-Taqwa College outbreak and families involved in the 130 Racecourse Road outbreak in Flemington.

He reiterated those infected should not vilified for spread of cases.

‘No one family is to blame for these outbreaks. Anyone can get exposed, anyone can get infected,’ he said.

So far, 87 per cent of close contacts at Al-Taqwa College have returned a negative.

The cases were announced as Australia’s first drive-though at a former Bunnings in Melbourne’s west opened to the public for the first time.

Almost 39,000 Victorians came forward for testing on Sunday while another 17,101 rolled up their sleeves to be vaccinated.

Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s hospital in St Albans (pictured) has been listed as a Covid exposure site 

Travellers coming from Cairns and Yarrabah in Far North Queensland were banned from entering Victoria after the region was plunged into a three day lockdown.

Dozens of new exposure sites were listed on Sunday night, including a busy Melbourne hospital – sending hundreds into isolation for 14 days. 

An infected case attended the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s hospital in St Albans on August 6, visiting the pathology department and a café. 

Anyone who visited Tint a Car Essendon on August 5 and The Jolly Miller Café at August 2 and August 3 must also get tested and isolate for 14 days.

Casual contact sites included a Coles, Bunnings, a 7-Eleven, a bottle shop, and a pharmacy.

The drive-through vaccination clinic at the former Bunnings site in Melton opened to the public for the first time on Monday as Victoria ramps up its efforts to get more jabs in arms.

Victoria has ramped up efforts to get vaccinated as the current outbreak grows. Pictured is a Melburnian getting the jab at Australia’s first drive-through vaccination clinic

The clinic will only offer Pfizer in its first week but will also have AstraZeneca from next week.  

‘You book, you drive up, roll down your window, roll up your sleeve, get a jab, it’s that easy,’ Victorian Acting Covid-19 commander Naomi Bromley told reporters.

‘This is a fantastic addition to our existing state infrastructure. It will be a really good and convenient, simple, safe way for Victorians to get vaccinated.’

The Melton clinic is expected to administer up to 10,000 jabs a week to start off with. 

Drive-through vaccination clinics have operated in other countries such as the US and Israel and was adopted after advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

Drivers and passengers will be screened for eligibility and symptoms at the carpark entry before proceeding, in batches of 10 cars, to an identification check-in point. 

They will be instructed to park before they receive the jab and remain in their cars for a 15-minute observation period before leaving the site. 

The drive-through vaccination clinic at the former Bunnings site in Melton opened to the public for the first time on Monday

Motorists and passengers who are vaccinated at the drive-through clinic remain in their cars for the 15-minute observation period afterwards before exiting the site.

Bunnings is strongly encouraging staff to get the vaccine and is offering up to six hours’ paid leave to attend appointments. 

The retailer’s giants discussions with governments at state and federal levels about further Covid-19 initiatives are ongoing.

Children aged 12 to 15 with underlying health conditions are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at state-run clinics, while ages 18-39 can access the AstraZeneca jab at nine mass hubs from this week. 

Victorian’s aged 18-39 can book to get AstraZeneca at the following venues: Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne Showgrounds, Sandown Racecourse, Frankston’s Bayside Shopping Centre, the Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre in South Moran, the former Ford Factory, Geelong, Kilmore District Health and Mansfield District Hospital.

More of the Victoria’s 50 state-run clinics could also open up to ages 18-39, depending on demand. 

The drive-through clinic at Melton (pictured in operation) is expected to administer up to 10,000 jabs a week

NEW COVID EXPOSURE ALERTS IN MELBOURNE ON SUNDAY NIGHT

Tier 1: Anyone who attended the following venues is a close contact and should get tested and isolate for 14 days 

St Albans: Dorevitch Pathology (Ground Floor) – Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital – August 6

St Albans: Maternity Assessment Centre (Level 3) – Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital – August 6

Niddrie: Tint a Car Essendon – August 5

Caroline Springs:  The Jolly Miller Cafe – CS Square – August 2, August 3

Tier 2: Anyone who attended the following venues in a casual contact and should get tested and isolate until they test negative 

St Albans: Cafe Bar (Main Corridor) – Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital – August 6

Maribyrnong: Bunnings Maribyrnong – August 4

Tarneit West: 7-Eleven Tarneit West – August 2

Caroline Springs: First Choice Liquor Caroline Springs – August 5

West Footscray: Pepin’s Pharmacy – August 5

Caroline Springs: Coles – CS Square – August 5

Flemington: ZJWD Convenience Store – August 3, 4, 5, 6

Deer Park: United Petroleum Deer Park – August 1

Tier 3: Anyone who attended the following venues should monitor for symptoms 

St Albans: Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital (All other areas) – August 6

 

All of Monday’s 11 cases are linked to current outbreaks and all but one were out in the community while infectious. Pictured here are two women at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market on Sunday 

Victoria recorded 11 new cases on Monday with all but one infectious in the community. Pictured is a Melburnian with his furry friend on Sunday

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VICTORIA’S NEW LOCKDOWN

 – The lockdown is scheduled to run from Thursday August 5 at 8pm for seven days 

– There will be only five lawful reasons to leave home

1. Essential shopping

2. Two hours of daily exercise within a 5km radius

3. To seek or provide medical care 

4. Work or study that cannot be done from home.

5. To go and get vaccinated. 

– Face masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors

– Schools will return to online learning 

– 5km travel limit for essential tasks, including shopping and exercise

– If your business was closed during the last lockdown, they must close this lockdown

– Hospitality open for takeaway only

– General retail is closed, as well as all non-essential businesses 

– Visitors to the home are banned

– Funerals capped at ten people, while weddings are banned

– Professional sport can proceed but with no crowds 

– Outdoor parks and play areas are open, but those indoors must close 

 



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