Lisa Wilkinson sums up how every Sydneysider is feeling after worst EVER day of Covid cases

Lisa Wilkinson sums up how every Sydneysider is feeling after worst EVER day of Covid cases – as The Project host warns ‘the game has changed’ and predicts lockdown will last FAR longer than spring

  • The Project host Lisa Wilkinson said NSW case numbers were like a ‘gut punch’
  • On Thursday, 239 new Covid cases, with 70 while infectious in the community 
  • Premier Gladys Berejiklian has extended lockdown by four weeks until August 28

Lisa Wilkinson spoke for many frustrated Sydney residents on The Project on Thursday night, saying the city’s bumper day of new coronavirus cases felt like a ‘gut punch’.

The locked down TV host said the spiralling number of positive Covid cases, including at least 70 more infectious in the community, had taken the wind out of frustrated Sydneysiders. 

‘Like most people in NSW at the moment – that number that started with a two today felt like a real gut punch,’ Ms Wilkinson said. 

She explained that the worrying figure signalled a new low in the fight against the virus, with the city’s highest ever daily rate – even when the pandemic began back in March 2020. 

‘I think we thought that it might nudge close to 200 but the fact that it was so far over the 200 number really felt like the game has changed – we are in a whole different realm. 

‘I don’t think anybody thinks for a moment that we will be out of this at the end of August.’ 

Despite a record 110,962 tests being conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian believes case numbers are set to worsen in her state (pictured, a deserted Sydney CBD)

The penalty for not wearing a face mask will increase from $200 to $500, with thousands of police officers deployed across Greater Sydney to enforce the tightened restrictions (pictured, a woman in Bankstown on Thursday)

The penalty for not wearing a face mask will increase from $200 to $500, with thousands of police officers deployed across Greater Sydney to enforce the tightened restrictions (pictured, a woman in Bankstown on Thursday)

She went on to point out Covid jab hesitation has reduced in recent weeks, which will ‘hopefully give a lot of people in NSW who get the vaccine a fighting chance.’

A record 110,962 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian believes the situation is set to worsen.

‘So many people have been infectious in the community day on day on day,’ she said. ‘It just keeps the ripple effect going.’

NSW health officials said 104 of the new cases on Thursday – almost half – were found in southwest Sydney, while 58 were detected in the city’s west.

Another 51 though – up from 20 on Wednesday – were found in the central Sydney local health district in a worrying sign the outbreak has broken containment lines in the western suburbs and is moving back east.

There are now 182 patients suffering from the virus in hospitals across the state – 54 in intensive care with 22 on a ventilator.

Just a day after extending the city’s stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks until August 28, Ms Berejiklian also announced two million Sydney residents living in the eight hotspot LGAs in the west and south-western suburbs would have to wear a mask whenever they leave home.

Those areas are Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River.

‘If you step foot outside your household, you need to wear a mask at all times. It doesn’t matter where it is,’ the NSW Premier said.

‘We are seeing too much evidence of people who are not wearing masks when they need to.’

The Project host Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) spoke for many Sydney residents when she labelled the 239 Covid case numbers in NSW on Thursday a 'gut punch.'

The Project host Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) spoke for many Sydney residents when she labelled the 239 Covid case numbers in NSW on Thursday a ‘gut punch.’

Penalties for not wearing a face mask will increase from $200 to $500, with thousands of police officers deployed across Greater Sydney to enforce the tightened restrictions.

From midnight on Saturday morning, residents in the eight hot-spot LGAs also cannot travel more than 5km from their home for essential shopping or for exercise.

‘These measures are the harshest Australia has ever faced in a lockdown,’ Ms Berejiklian added.

‘The Delta strain is different to anything we have seen.

‘I appreciate whilst all of us are under stress and pressure with the lockdown, if you live in those eight local government areas, we are asking so much of you.’

ALL THE CHANGES TO GREATER SYDNEY’S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

From 11.59pm on Wednesday July 28:

Greater Sydney residents including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour must limit essential shopping trips to within 10km of their homes.

Non-essential workers living in the Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River LGAs cannot leave their area for work.

The same rules already applied for residents in Fairfield, Cumberland, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Blacktown.

Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown will need to be tested every three days.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has extended Sydney's stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has extended Sydney’s stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks

In Fairfield and Cumberland, only aged care and healthcare workers must be tested every three days. 

From 12.01am on Saturday, July 31:

Construction sites can reopen outside the eight LGAs under tighter restrictions.

A singles bubble will be opened – allowing couples to visit each other’s homes.

Tradesmen can resume work as long as they do not come into contact with residents. That work will also be banned in the eight LGAs of concern. 

From August 16:

Year 12s will return to face-to-face learning and a Pfizer vaccination program will begin in the eight LGAs where transmission of Covid-19 is at its highest.

Rapid antigen testing will also be used for students returning to school across Greater Sydney.

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