NSW COVID-19 cases: Woman dies as 27 of 78 new cases were active in community, Premier Gladys Berejilian says

Active infectious cases stubborn as NSW COVID figures drop

MORE than two dozen of the latest 78 COVID cases were active in the community while infectious as NSW recorded another death due to the virus.

NSW Health Minister encouraged regional employers to "exercise common sense about it" and allow staff to work from home where possible, noting the risk of transmission beyond Sydney was present despite the lack of cases.

The Hunter has had the stakes made clear in recent days, including on the Hunter's doorstep as potential exposure sites were identified at Thornton and Wallsend service stations.

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed the death of the woman, who she said was aged in her 50s. She urged those in the lockdown area not to strike up conversations unnecessarily, using the example of seeing a neighbour at the supermarket as a time not to chat.

"Now is the time for minimising your interaction with others," she said.

"There are chains of transmission that we are yet to crack, and yet to break. That engenders significant concern in me.

"People are surprised they are positive.

"Even if you have got a mask, do not think that affords total protection."

Dr Chant said the word essential to describe which workers could continue their labours may also need review given "work is essential to all people".

She also said tea rooms and other common areas had high potentials for spread, urging anyone who could to work from home.

"Only the most critical workplaces should be operating," she said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were bright spots in the new data but authorities were eager for Sydneysiders to get tested in areas including Canterbury-Bankstown, Hurstville and Kogarah.

"The good news is we're picking up extra cases, not just those who have symptoms ... but also those who aren't symptomatic," she said.

"Even if you don't have symptoms, don't assume you don't have the virus.

"We don't want to see that distress caused in families and your closest people."

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Ms Berejiklian said the drop in overall cases was pleasing, but the major focus was on those contributing to community transmission.

"It's always pleasing when you see a drop in those numbers, but we still had about 27 people infectious in the community in those numbers," Ms Berejiklian said.

"That's the number we want to see come down.

Almost 63,000 tests were conducted in NSW in the 24-hour period, including a "significant increase" in the number within the Fairfield local government area.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said messages from anti-vaxxers showed those opposed to the jab "must be living in another universe" as cases, as well as patients requiring medical care due to the virus, rose.

'There is no doubt that we will not get out of this pandemic without a very substantial proportion of our population getting vaccinated," he said.

"Don't listen to some of these crazy messages coming out saying this is not a dangerous virus. It is very dangerous."

The NSW figures add to fresh cases in both Queensland and Victoria.

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This story Active infectious cases stubborn as NSW COVID figures drop first appeared on Newcastle Herald.