NSW records 44 new cases amid 10 people in ICU

NSW records 44 new cases amid 10 people in ICU

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian  has announced tougher restrictions for NSW including further limits on outdoor exercise, shopping and funerals, as she warned the lockdown may be extended until cases "get to zero or close zero".

The state recorded another 44 cases of community transmission on Friday, the highest daily increase since the latest outbreak began few weeks ago. It comes after the state recorded 38 COVID-19 cases in the community yesterday, the highest number in months.

Gladys Berejiklian says of the 44 new cases, 29 had been out and about in the community.

"Regrettably, 29 of those were either partially or fully exposed to the community and that is the number that is really concerning us," she said.

“Unless there is a dramatic change, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the numbers, I can’t see how we would be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday, and that is why all of us need to work together,” Ms Berejiklian said.

"No state or nation or any country on the planet can live with the Delta variant when our vaccination rates are so low," she said.

"If we chose to live with this while the rates of vaccinations are at 9 per cent, we will see thousands and thousands of hospitalisations and deaths."

"We always aim to have zero community transmission. When we talk to you about the number of cases, we do not worry so much about the cases that are in isolation because we know that they are not spreading the virus."

But the Premier said "when you see a number like 29 who have been infectious for all of the time in the community, or part of the time in the community, it tells us that in the next few days, those numbers are going to go up".

"It tells us that both the case numbers and unfortunately the number of people who may be exposed or have been exposed in the community is going to go up," she said.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has highlighted the dangers of COVID-19 even for the young, pointing out that young people are among those not only hospitalised but in intensive care.

There are currently 43 people hospitalised with coronavirus in NSW, with 10 of those in ICU, and four of those on ventilators.

Dr Chant said 14 people under the age of 55 have been hospitalised with COVID. Of those, there are seven under the age of 35.