A man in his 80s has died from Covid-19 in Sydney as NSW’s Delta outbreak grew by a record 681 cases on Thursday.
The man died at St George Hospital in the city’s south, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday.
Of the new cases, 59 were contagious in the community and the isolation status of 459 infections is still a mystery to contact tracers.
The source of infection for 511 cases is still under investigation.
The embattled leader though revealed a record 110,000 Covid-19 vaccinations had been administered in NSW in the last day – and that the state was now on target to fully immunise 70 per cent of its population by the end of October.
‘Once we get to the end of October we expect 70 per cent of the population to be fully vaccinated,’ she said.
‘Once we get to mid November we expect that figure to reach 80 per cent.
‘It gives enormous opportunities for greater freedoms than we do today.’
NSW Health said 463 of the new cases were found in west and south-west Sydney.
Ms Berejiklian said the vast majority of the new cases were found in Merrylands, Guildford, Auburn, Granville, Lidcombe, Greenacre and Blacktown.
Police and ADF personnel are pictured patrolling the Bankstown LGA in Sydney’s south-west on Thursday
The announcement follows an alarming forecast that NSW is on track to hit more than 2,000 cases a day if current infection rates continue, with seemingly no end in sight to the state’s gruelling lockdown.
The Delta variant’s reproductive rate has shot up to 1.3, as dozens of exposure sites were recorded across regional areas including a busy Kmart, five Woolworths and two Aldi supermarkets.
There were three deaths and a record 633 infections on Wednesday, up from 452 cases the day before, with the massive jump sparking fears the worst is still to come.
Residents arrive at a mass vaccination centre to get their Covid-19 vaccine in Sydney on Wednesday
Masked Sydneysiders are pictured in Bankstown in the city’s south-west on Wednesday
If the alarming figure triggering exponential growth stays the same, one of Australia’s top virus experts, James McCaw, has warned – there will be 2,000 daily cases within four weeks.
Worryingly, these predictions are not based on modelling showing worst or best case scenarios, but are made using simple maths based on the current 1.3 R-rate.
The University of Melbourne professor, who advises the federal government on its coronavirus response, said the rate at which infections are picking up pace is ‘deeply concerning’.
‘It could go lower too. Our models show the possibility of increases and decreases, but I think it’s more likely to be well over 1,000 and up to 2,000 within a month or so,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Using the 1.3 reproduction figure, NSW will see 2,278 daily cases on average by September 17, with more than 1,000 expected by September 2.
Covid-ravaged New South Wales is on track to start racking up over 2,000 cases a day, as the Delta variant’s reproductive rate skyrockets (pictured, Sydneysiders in lockdown on Wednesday)
At the moment the R-rate is now 1.3, meaning every 10 people who catch the devastating respiratory illness will pass it on to another 13 (pictured, Bronte Beach in Sydney’s east)
If the R-rate were to drop slightly to 1.2, a five-day rolling average by September 17 would be a slightly healthier 1,409.
An R-rate of 1.1 would see the average daily cases by the same date reach a far more manageable 836.
NSW Health are not only scrambling to get on top of the ever-growing outbreak, but also to prepare for the huge influx of positive cases that may need to be hospitalised.
At the centre of those concerns are a staggering 3,803 mystery cases that are yet to be linked to a source.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the worst was yet to come for Sydneysiders as the state recorded by far the highest daily rise in cases during the Covid-19 pandemic to date
To free up staff and hospital capacity, the NSW Ministry of Health made the shock move to cancel almost all surgeries in the state’s private hospitals.
Under the ‘special conditions’ order only ’emergency’ procedures will be allowed to go ahead from August 23.
Similar non-urgent surgeries have already been halted in public hospitals.
It comes just days after NSW Health admitted they have all but given up on listing exposure venues in virus-plagued Sydney.
Instead, health officials will concentrate on public alerts in regional areas and venues in the Harbour City deemed ‘high-risk’.
Triggering fear are a staggering 3803 mystery Covid cases that are yet to be linked to their source (pictured, police assist NSW Health staff at a Covid vaccination clinic at Olympic Park on Wednesday)
NSW Health are not only scrambling to get on top of the ever-growing outbreak, but also to prepare for the huge influx of positive cases that may need to be hospitalised (pictured, Sydney on Wednesday)
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told reporters the R-rate will need to drop below 1 before any improvements can be made in the case numbers.
She desperately reiterated her daily message on Wednesday morning calling on NSW residents to stay at home and abide by the state’s harsh lockdown measures which are now in their eighth week in Sydney.
‘Every person is passing on the virus to more than one person, so we are continuing to see case numbers increase,’ she said.
‘You might have one person who has connections across three households, but in each of those households you’ve got tens of people. And we know that household transmission for Covid is so common.’
Sydneysiders line up in Bankstown to get vaccinated against Covid-19 on Wednesday (pictured) – one of the city’s virus hotspots
A long queue of people is seen lining up to vaccinated against Covid at Bankstown in Sydney on Wednesday (pictured) – with the area suffering a worrying influx of Covid cases
The warning for Sydneysiders came as dozens of venues throughout regional NSW were flagged by authorities as exposure sites.
A long list of businesses were issued with public health alerts in the central west NSW town of Dubbo – including a day spa, corner store and a gym.
Anyone who visited Dubbo’s Itty Bitty Spa on Tuesday August 10 between 9:30am to 5:30pm is considered a close contact and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days.
Dubbo Kmart (pictured) was among dozens of venues in the far west town exposed to the virus
Dubbo Aldi (pictured) was issued a public health alert after being flagged as a Covid exposure site
The same goes for anyone who attended Dubbo Myall St Mini Mart on August 13 between 2:15pm to 2:30pm and gym-goers at Dubbo Snap Fitness on August 10 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
Meanwhile, five Woolworths supermarkets at Albion Park, Broken Hill, Shell Cove, Dubbo’s Orana Mall and Dubbo Riverdale Shopping Centre, were issued casual alerts.
That means anyone who attended during the times listed by NSW Health must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
It’s the same story for shoppers at Broken Hill Coles, Dubbo and Edgeworth Aldi, and Kmart, also in Dubbo.
Albion Park Woolworths (pictured) near Shellharbour was flagged as a Covid exposures site
Australian Defence Force personnel assist NSW Police with Food Bank deliveries in Dubbo, NSW on August 18, 2021
Covid exposure sites in NSW on Wednesday
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.
Dubbo Itty Bitty Spa Suite 23/25 Macquarie Chambers, 69-79 Macquarie Street Tuesday 10 August 2021 9:30am to 5:30pm
Dubbo Myall St Mini Mart 272 Myall Street Friday 13 August 2021 2:15pm to 2:30pm
Dubbo Snap Fitness Dubbo 113 Darling Street Tuesday 10 August 2021 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact and must get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
Albion Park Australia Post Albion Park 133 Tongarra Road Wednesday 11 August 2021 8:55am to 9:30am
Albion Park Woolworths Albion Park Corner Terry and Russell Street Friday 13 August 2021 10:15am to 11:15am
Albion Park Calders General Store 152 Terry Street Sunday 15 August 2021 1pm to 1:10pm
Albion Park Delicia Convenience Store Shop 2/132 Burdekin Drive Saturday 14 August 2021 4pm to 4:10pm
Bourke Khans SUPA IGA Oxley Street Monday 16 August 2021 10:10am to 10:20am Saturday 14 August 2021 5:55pm to 6:10pm Friday 13 August 2021 5:55pm to 6pm
Bourke SPAR Bourke 5 Warraweena Street Monday 16 August 2021 11:55am to 12pm Sunday 15 August 2021 1:10pm to 1:15pm
Broken Hill Coles Broken Hill South Road and Galena Street Sunday 15 August 2021 10:25am to 10:50am
Broken Hill Woolworths Broken Hill 7 Westside Plaza, Galena Street Saturday 14 August 2021 11:35am to 11:50am
Dubbo Aldi Dubbo 177 Talbragar Street Saturday 14 August 2021 12:50pm to 1:10pm Thursday 12 August 2021 2pm to 3pm Thursday 12 August 2021 2pm to 3pm Saturday 7 August 2021 11:30am to 12:30pm
Dubbo Blooms the Chemist Dubbo Shop 15-16a, Dubbo Square, 177 Macquarie Street Wednesday 11 August 2021 11:45am to 11:55am
Dubbo Caltex Dubbo Cobra St and Brisbane Street Thursday 12 August 2021 8:35am to 8:50am
Dubbo Chemist Warehouse Dubbo 166 Macquarie Street Saturday 14 August 2021 1:30pm to 1:45pm Wednesday 11 August 2021 10:45am to 11:15am Saturday 7 August 2021 2:20pm to 2:35pm
Dubbo IGA Ashcroft 95 Tamworth Street Saturday 14 August 2021 3:15pm to 3:30pm
Dubbo Kmart Dubbo Dubbo Square, Corner Bultje and Macquarie Streets Wednesday 11 August 2021 11:20am to 11:45am Tuesday 10 August 2021 10:30am to 11:30am Monday 9 August 2021 12:15pm to 12:40pm Sunday 8 August 2021 2:45pm to 3:30pm
Dubbo Myer Dubbo Macquarie Street Monday 9 August 2021 1pm to 1:35pm
Dubbo Orana Tobacconist Dubbo Orana Mall Shopping Centre, 56 Windsor Paradae Saturday 14 August 2021 11:50am to 12pm
Dubbo Shell Coles Express Petrol Station Dubbo 131-133 Cobra Street, Corner Fitzroy Street Friday 13 August 2021 10:40am to 10:50am
Dubbo Ten Tops Dubbo 58 Macquarie Street Saturday 7 August 2021 3:25pm to 3:55pm
Dubbo United Service Station – Pieface 195 Cobra Street Friday 13 August 2021 9pm to 9:05pm
Dubbo Wallace’s Store 61 Boundary Road Tuesday 10 August 2021 9am to 9:15am
Dubbo Woolworths Orana Mall 56 Windsor Parade Saturday 14 August 2021 11:40am to 11:55am Thursday 12 August 2021 11:15am to 12:30pm Monday 9 August 2021 11:25am to 12pm
Dubbo Woolworths Riverdale Riverdale Shopping Centre, 49/65 Macquarie Street Saturday 14 August 2021 1:10pm to 1:30pm Friday 13 August 2021 11:40am to 12pm (noon) Wednesday 11 August 2021 6:30am to 7:30am Wednesday 11 August 2021 5:45pm to 6:05pm Wednesday 11 August 2021 3:35pm to 3:50pm Wednesday 11 August 2021 11:25am to 12:10pm Wednesday 11 August 2021 10am to 10:20am Monday 9 August 2021 4:05pm to 4:35pm Sunday 8 August 2021 3:30pm to 4pm
Edgeworth Aldi Edgeworth 57 Thomas Street Sunday 15 August 2021 4:40pm to 5:45pm Saturday 14 August 2021 8:30am to 9:30am Thursday 12 August 2021 3:15pm to 4pm Saturday 7 August 2021 1:30pm to 1:40pm
Gilgandra Carlos SUPA IGA 43-45 Miller Street Friday 13 August 2021 11:05am to 11:10am
Kotara The Reject Shop Kotara Shop A002/108 Park Avenue Saturday 7 August 2021 11:30am to 12pm
Lake Munmorah Friendly Pharmacy Lake Munmorah Shop M02/275 Pacific Highway Friday 13 August 2021 10:10am to 10:20am
Lidcombe Shell Coles Express Lidcombe 18 Parramatta Road Monday 9 August 2021 4:25am to 6:15am
Maitland The Reject Shop Maitland 424 High Street Monday 9 August 2021 10:25am to 10:35am
Shell Cove Get Stuffed Chicken Shop Shop 8/100 Cove Boulevarde Wednesday 11 August 2021 11:15am to 11:30am
Shell Cove Woolworths Shell Cove 100 Cove Boulevarde Wednesday 11 August 2021 12:15pm to 1pm
Tenambit Tenambit Pharmacy 47 Maize Street Friday 13 August 2021 11am to 11:05am
Wilcannia Wilcannia Roadhouse Grahams Motel 2 Myers Street Saturday 14 August 2021 9am to 9:10am