CCTV of ‘scary’ Covid spread sparks fears
Footage of a "scarily fleeting" encounter between two Covid-19 cases has NSW health authorities on edge, proving the threat posed by this new virus strain shouldn't be underestimated.
NSW confirmed two new Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections in Sydney's outbreak to 11.
Two other cases were discovered after the official reporting period and will be included in today's numbers.
These cases include a woman in her 50s from Sydney's northern suburbs and a man in his 30s from the eastern suburbs. Both are close contacts of known cases and have been in isolation.
The danger posed by the highly-infectious Delta strain of Covid-19 has been made abundantly clear to authorities, with CCTV footage inside Bondi Junction Westfield demonstrating how quickly this strain can spread if nothing is done.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the footage showed the virus transmitting between two people during a "momentary crossover" in the shopping centre.
"We know that there's been three people that have been exposed on both June 12 and June 13," she said on Monday.
"In one, we actually have CCTV footage of the encounter and it is basically a crossover of individuals. They are clearly facing each other but it is literally someone moving across from each other for a moment, close, but momentary.
"In two other cases, we haven't been able to, with CCTV footage, look at the exact same crossover point, but we know they were 20 metres [apart], signing in at different venues at the same time or in that area so we suspect they did cross over."
Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the encounter as "scarily fleeting", saying the pair didn't even physically touch each other, with the virus instead being transferred as they came into "the same airspace".
"That's how contagious it is," she said.
The Delta strain, which is believed to be up to 50 per cent more infectious than other variants, first emerged in India and has since spread to dozens of other countries.
It was discovered in the Australian community for the first time earlier this month in Melbourne, when the city was dealing with its own Covid-19 outbreak. Genomic sequencing has shown the variant on the loose in Sydney matched "perfectly" with a sequence from the US.
Covid restrictions likely to be extended
As concerns around Sydney's outbreak ramp up, Ms Berejiklian revealed the current restrictions around masks for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour would likely be extended.
The Premier said while Monday's case numbers weren't a "bad outcome" there was still a level of concern about the way this virus has spread "fleetingly" between some cases.
"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.
A number of changes to mask restrictions kicked in at 4pm on Sunday, including the requirement for masks on public transport being extended to include Wollongong and Shellharbour.
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Previously this restriction only applied to Greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains but was extended after a confirmed case spent time in Wollongong.
Ms Berejiklian said these mandates were brought in to help avoid a "superspreader event" that could see cases explode across Sydney and surrounding areas.
Masks are now also mandatory in indoor premises for certain local government areas, including Bayside, Canada Bay, Sydney, Randwick, Inner West, Waverley and Woollahra.
These indoor venues include retail and business premises that provides goods and services to the public, gaming rooms, entertainment facilities, places of worship, residential aged care facilities (but not for residents), and for front end staff at hospitality venues.
The announcement from Ms Berejiklian follows calls from a top epidemiologist for a snap three-day lockdown in Sydney.
Epidemiologist and World Health Organisation adviser, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, told ABC radio NSW needs to take this outbreak of the Delta variant "very seriously".
"If the numbers go up any further we should really be thinking about a three-day lockdown," she said on Monday.
Professor McLaws also said masks should be made mandatory in all public areas for Greater Sydney.
Ms Berejiklian has previously refused to rule out bringing in tougher restrictions in order to control the outbreak.
She said the next few days are critical for NSW and any further restrictions "will depend on what cases emerge in the next few days".
NSW exposure sites list grows
The list of venues visited by known Covid-19 cases is growing rapidly and now includes suburbs in the west as well as in the Illawarra region.
Anyone who visited the following venues at the times listed below is considered a close contact of a covid case and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days from your visit, even if a negative result is received.
Bondi Junction to North Sydney: 200 bus, June 14 from 4.25pm-5pm travelling from Bondi Junction Interchange to Blue St, North Sydney
Baulkham Hills to Sydney: 614X bus, June 15 from 8.40am-9.23am travelling from Gooden Drive to Stand J, Wynyard Station on York Street.
Sydney to Baulkham Hills: 614X bus, June 15 from 5.44pm-6.29pm travelling from Clarence Street to Gooden Drive.
Barangaroo: David Jones on June 12 from 10.55am-11.15am
Bondi Junction: California Nails, Tower Two, International Towers Sydney, on June 16 from 4.45pm-5.30pm; Harry's Coffee Kitchen on June 15 from 3.10pm-3.55pm, Meyer Bondi on June 12 from 11.15am-11.50am; Tea Gardens Hotel on June 13 from 5pm-5.15pm; Sourdough Bakery on June 11 from 12.35pm-12-50pm; David Jones on June 15 from 3.55pm-4.15pm; Event Cinemas on June 13 from 1.30pm-4pm, Fresh Nails June 18 from 9.30am - 7pm
Drummoyne, Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet: Country Road on June 15 from 12.30pm-1pm; Seed on June 15 from 12.30pm-1pm; Nike on June 15 from 12.50pm-1.15pm; North Face on June 15 from 11.35am-11.50am
Fairy Meadow: The Broken Drum Cafe on June 18 from 9.55am-10.05am
Newtown: Adora Handmake Chocolates on June 13 from 2pm-3pm
North Ryde: Cemetary Cafe Macquarie Park on June 15 from 1pm-1.20pm
Northmead: Northmead Bowling Club on June 13 from 3.30pm-10.15pm
Redfern: The Twisted Olive on June 13 from 12.50pm-1.20pm; Wax Car Wash Cafe on June 14 from 12.25pm-1.10pm
Shellharbour: Baby Bunting on June 18 from 4.30pm-5.15pm
Sydney: Fitness First Pitt St Platinum on June 16 from 12.15pm-1.30pm; Fitness First Bond St Platinum on June 17 from 3.10pm-4.30pm
Tempe: Salvos Stores on June 16 from 9am-10.30am and 2.15pm-2.45pm
Vaucluse: Rocco's on June 14 from 10.55am-11.30am; Belle Cafe on June 11 from 9.15am-9.50am, June 12 from 10.20am-10.45am and 1.20pm-1.50pm, June 13 from 11.30am-12pm, June 15 from 9.50am-10.25am; Washoku Vaucluse on June 12 from 12pm-1.30pm
There are also multiple casual contact venues list on the NSW Health website, with the full list found here.
Originally published as CCTV of 'scary' covid spread sparks fears