The New South Wales government has lifted restrictions on many construction sites outside of Covid hotspots to allow the industry to resume, as the state recorded its highest number of coronavirus cases in the latest outbreak of the virus. Delta variant and announced a month-long extension to Greater Sydney. isolation.
Out of a total of 94,532 tests, NSW recorded 177 new locally acquired Covid cases on Wednesday. Of these, 68 people were in the community during its infectious period and the isolation status of 62 cases remains under investigation.
Nearly two million people from eight local government areas in the west and southwest of Sydney at the epicenter of the latest outbreak have been subjected to stricter rules than the rest of the city. They can only leave for essential jobs, such as elder care, healthcare, and grocery store work.
Despite Victoria eventually giving up zip code-related restrictions during her lengthy lockdown because they didn’t work, NSW has proposed that eight LGAs remain subject to stricter restrictions: Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River.
This covers most of the west and southwest of Sydney and some of its more diverse communities.
The difference for these communities is that businesses cannot go to work, construction sites cannot be reopened, and only those that are considered authorized workers you can leave your LGA. Some LGAs, like Fairfield, have additional requirements for these authorized workers to be tested every three days.
In recognition of the prolonged lockdown, the government will follow Victoria’s lead and allow single people living alone to nominate a visitor to their home, provided that person is always the same and does not reside in one of the eight LGAs of interest. For single residents within the eight LGAs, the person they nominate to join their bubble must live within 10 km of their home.
NSW also announced a plan for Year 12 students to return to schools on August 16, and plans are being formulated to introduce rapid antigen tests for Year 12 students in the greater Sydney area.
Up to 40,000 doses of Pfizer will be diverted from other areas of the state, particularly the New South Wales region, to vaccinate Year 12 students at LGA hotspots.
But face-to-face learning will not resume for at least four weeks for all other age groups.
In a statement explaining the diverted doses from Pfizer, NSW Health said: “GPs continue to supply Pfizer vaccines in the NSW region and their federal government supplies are not affected by this reallocation. AstraZeneca continues to be available at GPs, NSW Health clinics, and a growing number of pharmacies.
“NSW Health can assure those in the NSW region who have received a first dose of Pfizer that they will receive their second dose.”
The government is in talks with several frontline worker employers about implementing rapid antigen tests in high-exposure workplaces, such as supermarkets.
Purchases, like exercise, have also been limited to the local government area or 10 km.
The premier, Gladys Berejiklian, declined to speculate whether four weeks would be enough to reach her own benchmark to relax the lockdown: close to zero infectious cases in the community.
“That is our intention but we have seen how we have fought to reduce the number of contagious in the community and that is evident. If we want to live freely while vaccination rates remain quite low, that is the only goal we must stick to, “he said.
“If we had not been locked up, there is absolutely no doubt that today we would have had thousands and thousands of cases, but also many more deaths. That is something that we must continue to prevent, “he said.
He said the expansion of LGAs subject to stricter rules was expected to provide a “localized and targeted response”, while allowing other parts of Sydney to continue to operate.
At one point, Berejiklian said that “spring offers a period of hope” and that “compliance will stand out strongly in the months ahead.”
He also said: “We cannot open up and live freely unless we have a number close to zero or we have high vaccination rates.”
The government will consider whether they can loosen the rules further for Sydney’s larger areas such as the central coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour in the coming weeks.
Both she and Health Director Kerry Chant emphasized that transmission was still occurring in workplaces, with workers bringing the virus to their extended families and families, triggering new chains of transmission.
There is still concern that extended families at Sydney hotspots will visit each other, despite the rules.
A funeral in Pendle Hill attended by 50 people caused 48 infections and at least one death, and spread to other workplaces.
Berejiklian declined to say how the government intended to enforce the differential rules in Sydney, apart from appealing to everyone to abide by them. Police Commissioner Mick Fuller will provide more details Thursday on the police strategy.
Financial support for NSW is being driven by both the federal and state governments.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced that job savings payments will now be available to businesses with annual turnover of between $ 75,000 and $ 250 million, up from $ 50 million, which have seen revenue decline from the 30% or more.
The maximum weekly pay has also increased substantially, and employing companies that maintain their workforce can now receive between $ 1,500 and $ 100,000 per week, compared to $ 10,000, with payments based on 40% of their NSW weekly payroll.
He defended the decision to allow construction to resume, saying it would add $ 550 million a week to the New South Wales economy.