Live breaking news: Growing fears NSW has lost control of worsening Delta strain covid outbreaks across Sydney

LIVE Last updated July 22, 2021 7:27AM AEST

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There are growing fears NSW has lost control of the Delta outbreak.

There are growing fears New South Wales has lost control of the worsening Delta strain covid outbreaks in Sydney, with authorities taking a week or more to identify high-risk exposure sites across the city.

The sheer volume of close and casual contacts of those who test positive to coronavirus is making the job of contact tracers extremely difficult, putting the battle to quash case numbers at risk.

Analysis by The Australian newspaper shows a number of venues were identified by NSW Health several days after a visit by someone with Covid-19, with eight of Monday and Tuesday’s locations of concern falling into that category.

It means people potentially exposed had been in the community for at least a week afterwards.

A petrol station in Padstow in the city’s southwest is now a high-risk location but was visited by a confirmed case 13 days ago, showing the complex task facing tracers.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian attempted to quell fears the state is losing control of the various Delta outbreaks across Greater Sydney, but admitted tough restrictions need more time to work.

“We have done well to stem the growth that other countries around the world have seen with the Delta strain,” Ms Berejiklian said. “We’ve stopped the thousands and thousands of cases around the world that other countries have had.”

You can read more about the NSW covid crisis and follow our live coverage in the blog below. Our live blog with Victoria news is here.

Live Updates

Woolies exposed to covid for several days

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A Woolworths in Sydney has been identified as a high-risk covid exposure site – with dates over seven days specified by authorities.

The supermarket at Glenrose Village shopping centre in Belrose in the city's west is the shop in question.

Late on Wednesday, NSW Health said anyone who attended on the following dates is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result, and call 1800 943 553 unless they have already been contacted by NSW Health.

  • Saturday 10 July from 8.30am to 8.40am
  • Thursday 15 July from 7.30am to 9.00am
  • Friday 16 July from 5.55am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 17 July from 5.55am to 3.10pm
  • Sunday 18 July from 5.55am to 4.30pm
  • Monday 19 July from 6.00am to 4.00pm
  • Tuesday 20 July from 7.30am to 9.00am

The Woolies was one of 35 venues announced as venues of concern late last night. Here's the full list.

Nursing home in lockdown after new case

In news just in, An aged care facility in Sydney has been locked down after a nurse there tested positive for Covid-19.

The Palms facility in Kirrawee is on high alert following the confirmed case and all 65 residents have been isolated for two weeks as a precaution.

ABC News reports all residents have been vaccinated, but not all employees. Initial tests have all returned negative results.

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Eight new suburbs on high alert

Authorities in NSW are worried the highly infectious Delta strain has moved further west in Greater Sydney.

Much of the fight against current outbreaks is centred on the city’s southwest, where almost half of Wednesday’s 110 new cases of locally acquired covid were detected.

But 29 new infectious were further west than that, with NSW Health identifying eight new suburbs of concern.

They are Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill, Lakemba, Guildford, Merrylands, Belrose, Toongabbie and Seven Hills.

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Jeremy McAnulty from NSW Health told the ABC the virus, which spread from the initial outbreak zone in the east to the southwest, has likely moved again.

“We're now seeing cases in Western Sydney increase,” Mr McAnulty said. “People should be particularly vigilant and don't hesitate to come forward for testing at the slightest symptom.”

Push to ignore AstraZeneca advice

A senior politician in NSW has launched a pretty extraordinary attack on the country’s vaccine advisory body, saying it’s time to throw caution to the wind and “use our ample and increasing supplies of (AstraZeneca)”.

Stuart Ayres is the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and a member of the state’s Crisis Cabinet, which decides the response to the covid crisis.

He told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that current advice for Australians under 50 to avoid the AstraZeneca jab over extremely rare but serious blood-clotting risks should be abandoned.

“With deaths increasing and people under 50 filling more hospital beds we need to be using our ample and increasing supplies of AstraZeneca vaccine,” Mr Ayres said.

“ATAGI’s confusing advice has led to less people getting vaccinated not more. Their short-sightedness has increased the risk of death, hospitalisation and sickness from covid.”

He was scathing of ATAGI, saying the agency’s changing advice was “like fitting an airbag after a car crash.”

Young people know “we don’t live in a risk-free world” and should be allowed to get the jab if they choose to, Mr Ayres said, commending those who’ve already done so.

Enormous task of contact tracers revealed

Good morning and welcome to Thursday's coverage of the covid crisis in New South Wales.

We begin with the revelation that authorities in the state are taking a week or more to identify some high-risk exposure sites visited by confirmed coronavirus cases.

That's due to the sheer volume of close and casual contacts of those who've tested positive.

Analysis by The Australian newspaper shows eight of those venues identified on Monday and Tuesday as being in the high-risk category were visited more than seven days prior.

One, a service station in Padstow, was visited 13 days earlier.

Those delays mean anyone else who could've been infected was in the community for a significant time, exposing others and adding to the work of contact tracers.

It has sparked fears NSW has lost control of the worsening Delta outbreaks across Greater Sydney, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists restrictions need more time to work.

We'll be watching closely for today's case numbers, but in particular, how many of those were infectious in the community.

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