Covid 19 coronavirus: NSW records 35 new community cases

New South Wales has recorded 35 new community cases of Covid-19. Nine of those cases were infectious in the community.

This brings the total number of cases in Sydney’s outbreak to 261, with 207 now directly linked to the Bondi cluster.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the next few days would be “critical” in overcoming the state’s latest outbreak.

She once again urged residents to follow lockdown rules, saying “let us not give up, but instead keep respecting the stay-at-home orders”.

Berejiklian said a decision on ending the lockdown as planned on July 9 would be made next week.

“So far, I’m relieved that there hasn’t been a huge surge in numbers,” she said. “I’m also relieved the tide seems to be shifting in relation to the number of people who have been in isolation that are getting the virus, as opposed to those who have been exposed in the community, and that’s positive news. We should hold onto that.”

When asked about the possibility of a lockdown extension yesterday, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the number of people moving throughout the community during their infectious periods would need to drop for restrictions to be lifted.

“What we need to look at is increasing numbers of people isolated for the full period, the number of unlinked chains of transmission, the settings of those cases. All of these factors will influence our decision making,” she said.

Five new cases in Queensland

Queensland recorded five new community cases of Covid-19 overnight.

Despite the new cases, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state’s lockdown of the Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions will end at 6pm today as planned.

Palaszczuk said the state was not “out of the woods yet” but assured residents that contact tracers were “very closely monitoring” the contacts of the new cases.

“We are doing a lot of work with the contacts … we believe that our contact tracers can get on top of those issues very carefully,” she said.

Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles reiterated that “masks, QR codes, and testing” would be the three things that keep the state out of lockdown.

“And if we can keep those up for 13 days, we can avoid another lockdown, hopefully this will be our last one,” he said.

Figure that could end Australian lockdowns

One Australian epidemiologist has said the country could reach a sufficient vaccination rate within the next few months to stop future lockdowns.

Deakin University’s chair in epidemiology Catherine Bennett believes a 30 per cent Covid-19 vaccination rate would be enough to prevent states and territories needing lockdowns to control the virus.

Speaking to the ABC, she said about 8 per cent of Australians were fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We can expect that in the next 10 to 12 weeks probably to hit that 30 per cent mark, which would be fantastic,” Bennett said.

“And it would then really start to take the pressure off, if we do see more outbreaks, which we’re likely to see, that it gives the contact tracers more of a chance if you’ve got nearly a third of people then protected.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday outlined the country’s path out of Covid-19 and an end to lockdowns.

The four-phase plan would take Australia from “a pre-vaccination period, which is focused on the suppression of the virus … to one that sees us manage Covid-19 as an infectious disease like any other in our community,” he said.

Morrison did not specify a vaccine percentage threshold before the country moved to post-vaccination settings, nor did he predict how long it would take to reach that stage.

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