Yesterday’s stats for NSW:
The significance of this is brought out in our local ABC News:
The number of coronavirus infections in the Illawarra has hit a record 22 new cases overnight, surpassing the previous high of 13 cases on Sunday.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has confirmed 15 of the new cases live in Wollongong while seven are Shellharbour residents.
The latest cases mean the Illawarra has recorded more than 100 new infections since the start of the outbreak with a total of 111 cases.
ISLHD confirmed 11 of the new cases were linked to “known exposures or family clusters”, while the remaining cases are under investigation.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro told reporters while the rise in cases is concerning, the government is not yet sounding the alarm.
I’m not over-impressed by John Barilaro’s assurance. Nor is the ABC:
Wollongong has been classified as part of Greater Sydney since the start of the lockdown in June, despite local politicians and community groups arguing it leaves the region vulnerable to transmission from Sydney.
The Illawarra has, however, managed to maintain consistently low daily case numbers until now, and experts fear the cat may be out of the bag.
“What we’ve learnt already is that it is almost impossible to contain once you have got 22 cases in one region,” said Professor Kathy Egar, director of the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong.
“We have seen that in the ACT, we have seen that in Victoria, we have seen that in Sydney, and now we are going to experience it here in Wollongong.
Professor Egar said the government missed its opportunity to protect the region by separating it from Sydney earlier in the outbreak.
“If we were serious about locking down we would have done what Victoria did and have police barricades on Appin Road or the Princes Highway. People can still get through if they have a legitimate reason,” she said.
“The majority of the cases we have got in this region is because of social visits to the region from people from Sydney….
“This was completely preventable, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we have 100 cases next week.”
I am due for my second jab next Thursday.
No sooner had I put this post to bed than this appeared in the Illawarra Mercury!
Every resident of a Wollongong apartment block will spend the next two weeks in isolation, after they were all identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case.
An Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District spokesperson said there was no requirement by NSW Health to put the Corrimal Street building into ‘lockdown’, but all residents were directed to isolate for 14 days.
The confirmation came the same day the Illawarra recorded 22 new cases, the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.