Two new coronavirus cases have been detected in New South Wales, taking the number of cases linked to a Sydney cluster to 11, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns of incidents of transmission from “scaringly fleeting” contact.
The official tally for Monday is two new locally transmitted cases, which were first reported on Sunday. Two additional cases were discovered after the 8pm cut-off and will be included in Tuesday’s figures, NSW Health said.
Both of the cases identified overnight, a woman in her 50s from Sydney’s south and a man in his 50s from the Sutherland Shire, are close contacts of previously identified cases and were isolating when they returned their positive result.
Ms Berejiklian said that while Monday’s numbers were “not a bad outcome”, health authorities were concerned about the highly contagious Delta variant.
“We know from a number of cases that we’ve seen already in this particular cluster that in some instances, the exchanges have been scaringly fleeting – literally people coming, not even physically touching each other, but literally fleetingly coming into the same airspace,” she said.
“When you leave your home at any time of the day you have to assume that somebody in close proximity to you has the virus.”
The new cases take the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the state to 5,460.
NSW Health on Monday urged people in Sydney to stay at home as much as possible.
“Everyone is strongly urged to avoid gatherings and minimise their movements, such as attending the cinemas or trips to ski fields,” it said in a statement.
“If you can work from home, please do so.”
Further public health measures designed to quell the outbreak were announced on Sunday, including mandatory face masks in indoor settings across seven local government areas in Sydney.
They include Randwick, Bayside, Botany, Inner West, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra.
Ms Berejiklian on Monday said she envisioned the current settings will continue beyond Wednesday.
Masks are also compulsory on public transport in Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas until Thursday.
“Given the situation we are in and given we don’t want to see further restrictions imposed more broadly across our city and our state, in all likelihood, the existing settings we have in place will continue beyond the five days,” she said.
More locations were added to the list of coronavirus exposure sites on Monday night.
The sites include bus routes and locations in the Sydney CBD, Drummoyne, Parramatta, Hurstville, Castle Hill, Merrylands and Baulkham Hills.
Health authorities are urging anyone with even mild cold-like symptoms to come forward for testing and isolate until a result is returned. Residents of Sydney’s eastern suburbs and Wollongong have been asked to be “especially vigilant”.