NSW Covid update: three new cases of ’near and present danger’ delta variant recorded

New South Wales reported three cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, taking the total associated with the Bondi outbreak to six.

Two previously unreported cases were announced, including a woman in her 40s from the eastern suburbs who visited a number of venues in Westfield Bondi Junction. The second case, reported overnight, is a man in his 30s who lives in Sydney and also visited Westfield Bondi Junction.

His case will be reported in tomorrow’s numbers.

These are in addition to the case reported on Friday afternoon of a man in his 50s who was on the same floor of the Westfield Bondi Junction Myer as the initial Bondi case last Saturday.

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said the delta variant which is behind this outbreak is a “near and present danger” given the fleeting contact between cases at the Bondi Junction Westfield.

“It is fair to say that this delta virus would appear to be a near and present danger to anybody who is in the vicinity,” he said.

The woman in her 40s regularly walks through the shopping centre, and it is not clear yet the date transmission occurred.

The NSW government made masks mandatory on public transport in greater Sydney on Friday for the next five days, but has so far refrained from introducing other restrictions.

The mandate came after NSW Health determined on Friday that the new case was as a result of a “fleeting contact” with an existing case. It is the second “fleeting contact” transmission connected to the first case.

A woman in her 70s was sitting outside a cafe that the initial case had visited and genomic sequencing of her virus is an exact match to the first case.

People who were at the Myer on the same floor at the same time last weekend have been told to notify NSW Health, get tested and isolate for 14 days.

Hazzard said the working assumption is the two new cases on Saturday were picked up from the origin case – the limo driver. Hazzard said the advice was people should wear masks indoors, but repeated no lockdown of Sydney’s eastern suburbs is currently planned.

“If you have been in the vicinity of Westfield Bondi it would be helpful, as we suggested, if you have your test and make sure that you actually got a negative result before you did anything else,” he said.

“People should exercise caution and maintain as far as possible social distancing and definitely wear a mask. If you are going to the concert tonight, that is great – social distancing [and] wear a mask.

“And get a test beforehand.”

He called for people to go and get tested, stating 26,000 test results in a day was not as high as it should be given the infectiousness of the delta variant.

On the first day since restrictions in Melbourne were significantly eased, Victoria reported one new locally acquired case of Covid-19. However, it was a primary close contact of a previously identified case and had been isolating for his entire infectious period, so there are no new exposure sites.

The state recorded more than 30,000 test results on Friday. Acting premier James Merlino has said the testing rate would need to remain high in order to have confidence to further ease restrictions from Thursday.

On Friday Queensland made the Sydney local government area of Waverley a hotspot, meaning anyone visiting the state from there will need to isolate for 14 days.



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