The COVID crisis in New South Wales has worsened with the state recording 319 new cases and a further five deaths.
It’s the highest daily increase in cases during the current outbreak.
The outbreak also continues to spread further beyond Sydney with two cases confirmed in Armidale in the New South Wales northern tablelands.
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As a result, the Armidale LGA will go into a snap seven-day lockdown from 5pm on Saturday.
Officials have confirmed someone from outside Armidale travelled to the region, bringing the virus with them.
Four new cases have also been confirmed in young people in the Hunter region.
There are now 345 people in hospital being treated for COVID, 56 in ICU with 23 of those on ventilators.
Of the 56 in ICU, 51 have not been vaccinated at all, while five have had one dose.
The majority of the new cases continue to be concentrated in Sydney’s west and southwest.
There were 112 cases in the southwest, including 98 in Canterbury-Bankstown, and 98 in Sydney’s west.
NSW Health’s Jeremy Macanulty says they continue to be concerned about Canterbury-Bankstown.
“We have had 489 cases in the last week so that is a most prominent LGA. People in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA, please take extreme caution and follow the stay-at-home roles, follow all the rules for authorised workers, keep each other safe,” Dr Macanulty said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard has played down calls for the state to go even harder after the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly conceded on Friday that New South Wales needed a ‘circuit-breaker.’
“We have the toughest lockdown in the country at the present time. What is not happening is people are not complying.
“I saw Paul Kelly’s comments. He hasn’t told us what that circuit breaker would be.”
Mr Hazzard has urged people to continue to come out and get vaccinated, insisting it was the state’s ticket to freedom.
Almost 50 percent of residents aged over 16 have now received their first dose while 22 percent of the state is now fully vaccinated.
“We’re not going to beat this virus unless you get on the journey with us… book in for vaccination. You can do it for your GP, your pharmacist, at one of the state hubs, we need you to do that, because that is our freedom path.”