The two-week lockdown of Sydney and surrounding regions will reportedly continue for a third week, with students learning from home, according to media reports.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will officially announce the way forward at 11am on Wednesday, but the government appears to have already briefed major media that the stay-at-home order will continue for Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Shellharbour regions until at least July 16 as COVID-19 infection rates continue to bounce around.
Testing has revealed 330 cases reported in NSW since what became known as the Bondi cluster occurred on June 16.
Community transmissions continue
More alarmingly, around 20% of the initial cases were asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) when they tested positive, and low vaccination rates have failed to halt the spread of the virus.
There were 18 new infections of the Delta strain reported on Tuesday, but only 11 were in isolation when they were infectious and the number of close contact sites across Sydney has continued to grow. There’s also been a notable increase in the number of younger people with COVID-19.
Five people are currently in ICU with two on respirators.
Home-schooling is back
As a result, students in the greater Sydney region will move to online learning next Tuesday for at least the first week of term 3. As part of the plan, schools will open for the children of essential workers, and students in regional NSW students will head back to the classroom, media reports say.
New venues of concern
Meanwhile, NSW Health issues a new list of venues of concern, as well as public transport, yesterday afternoon.
The include the Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre as far back as Saturday, June 26, before the government announced the lockdown order later that day.
Anyone who visited the Marrickville Metro, which has recently been upgraded and expanded, between 9am and 2pm between from June 26 to July 1.
The full list of case locations is here.
While the extension of the lockdown has not been officially been announced by the government, the widespread briefing of the media appears to be bracing Sydneysiders for another week at home before the premier announces the news at 11am.
The lockdown extension is expected to cost the state’s economy an extra $1 billion.
More to come.