NSW chief health officer reveals big mistake Sydney is making Covid-19 testing

The big mistake Sydneysiders are making with Covid testing – as top doctor Kerry Chant says it’s helping to ramp up the number of cases

  • Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says people are waiting too long to get tested
  • A pandemic record 110,962 tests were conducted on Wednesday Woensdag
  • NSW had 239 new cases on Thursday, with 70 infectious in the community

Covid-19 cases in Sydney remain high as people fail to get tested once they show symptoms, says Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer of NSW.

Of the 239 new Covid cases recorded in NSW on Thursday morning, 70 people were active in the community during their contagious period – a figure Dr. Chant can be avoided.

She said Covid-positive people wait too long to be tested and that they have likely already spread the virus before being told to isolate.

Pictured: People queue at a Covid clinic in Sydney on Thursday. NSW registered 239 new cases

“The issues that we want to strengthen with the community are coming out soon for testing,” Dr Chant said at the daily press conference.

“We still find that people are putting off getting a test and that means by the time we find them everyone in the household is positive and then it also means that unknowingly everyone in the community is contagious.”

A record 110,962 tests were conducted within 24 hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, but Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian believes the situation will worsen.

During a conversation with Kyle and Jackie ‘O’ on KIIS FM on Thursday morning, she echoed Dr. Chant and said there were too many people in the community while they were contagious.

“So many people are contagious in the community day in and day out,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“It just maintains the ripple effect.”

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says people in Sydney won't be tested once they show symptoms

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says people in Sydney won’t be tested once they show symptoms

Health officials said on Thursday that 104 of the new cases – nearly half – were found in southwestern Sydney, while 58 were discovered in the west of the city.

However, a further 51 – up from 20 on Wednesday – were found in Sydney’s central health district, a disturbing sign that the outbreak has broken containment lines in the western suburbs and is moving back east.

There are now 182 patients suffering from the virus in hospitals across the state — 54 in intensive care units and 22 on a ventilator.

dr. Chant said 17 of the patients in the intensive care unit were under the age of 40, including two in their teens and eight in their 20s.

Just a day after the city’s household restriction was extended for another four weeks, Ms Berejiklian also announced that two million Sydney residents living in the eight hotspot LGAs in the western and southwestern suburbs would be required to wear masks when they leave the house.

Those areas are Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River.

Pictured: Health workers at a Sydney testing center on Wednesday

Pictured: Health workers at a Sydney testing center on Wednesday

‘If you set foot outside your household, you should always wear a mask. It doesn’t matter where it is,’ she said.

“We’re seeing too much evidence of people not wearing masks when they need to.”

Sanctions for not wearing a facemask will be increased from $200 to $500, with thousands of police officers deployed in Greater Sydney to enforce the tightened restrictions.

From midnight Saturday morning, residents of the eight LGAs will also be allowed to travel no further than 5 km from their homes for essential shopping or to exercise.

“These harsh measures are the toughest Australia has ever experienced during a lockdown,” said Ms Berejiklian.

“The Delta species is unlike anything we’ve seen.”

“I appreciate, while we are all under stress and pressure from the lockdown, if you live in those eight local government areas, we ask so much of you.”


Wednesday 28 July from 11.59 pm:

Residents of Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, should limit essential shopping trips to within 6 miles of their home.

Non-essential workers living in the LGAs of Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River cannot leave their area to work.

The same rules already applied to residents of Fairfield, Cumberland, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Blacktown.

Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown must be tested every three days.

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has extended Sydney's stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has extended Sydney’s stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks

In Fairfield and Cumberland, only aged care and health professionals are required to be tested every three days.

From Saturday 31 July 12.01 pm:

Construction sites are allowed to reopen outside the eight LGAs under stricter restrictions.

A singles bubble opens – allowing couples to visit each other’s homes.

Traders can resume their work as long as they do not come into contact with residents. That work is also banned in the eight LGAs of concern.

From August 16:

Year 12 will return to face-to-face learning and a Pfizer vaccination program will begin in the eight LGAs where Covid-19 transmission is highest.

Rapid antigen testing will also be used for students returning to school in Greater Sydney.