Sydney man dies from COVID, 89 new cases

A man in his 70s has become the second person to die during Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak as NSW recorded another 89 locally acquired cases of the disease.

The man from Sydney’s eastern suburbs died on Monday.

The new cases were diagnosed from more than 49,000 tests. Some 27 of the 89 new cases reported to 8pm on Monday were not in isolation for all of part of their infectious period.

NSW has now recorded 767 COVID-19 cases in the community since June 16, when the Bondi cluster first emerged.

The latest death takes the national tally to 912.

A construction worker who tested positive to COVID-19 in Goulburn in the NSW southern tablelands, is reportedly among the new cases, sparking fears the Sydney outbreak has reached the regions.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday announced new testing requirements had been introduced for essential workers in an effort to stop them from seeding the virus outside Sydney.

“The key message is: Stay home, do not leave your home unless you absolutely have to, and if you do need to leave your home for essential work, if you live in the Fairfield Local Government area, please get tested every three days,” she said.

“We know how easy it is with the Delta variant for two cases to become 20, to become 100 very, very easily.

“If you happen to have people on your work site or overseeing work or any type of activity… please ask where they live and, if they come from a hotspot area, when the last time was that they got tested,” she said.

The person who tested positive is understood to be a painter who travelled from southern Sydney to Goulburn to work on the construction of the new Goulburn Hospital, Goulburn, Mayor Bob Kirk told AAP.

Health authorities are yet to confirm the case, but Mr Kirk says he has received multiple reports from the community and the hospital worksite has been shut down.

The growing COVID-19 outbreak has so far been confined to Greater Sydney and its surrounds, but Mr Kirk says he fears essential work permits may be putting regional towns at risk.

“The COVID disease doesn’t ask people if they have a travel exemption or not, it just attaches to whoever it can,” he said on Tuesday.

“But I understand he is a painter … I don’t know how that qualifies as essential right now.”

“I know there are more than a few painters around this place that could step up if needed.”

It comes as the likelihood of a longer lockdown firms for Greater Sydney and its surrounds, as authorities battle to deal with a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases in the city’s southwest.

Five million people in Greater Sydney are enduring a third week of lockdown, with several weeks likely to go, after 112 new cases – a record high since the first wave in 2020 – were reported on Monday.

A joint NSW and federal government relief package to help people and businesses suffering financial hardship after three weeks of little or no income will be announced on Tuesday.

The federal government COVID disaster weekly payments will reportedly rise to $600 a week, up from $500, for those who have lost 20 hours of work or more.

The package will include JobKeeper-style increased cash flow payments for businesses to cover costs and wages, so long as no worker is sacked.

Meanwhile, school students start term three on Tuesday with pupils in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour learning from home for at least this week, while children of essential workers will be supervised at school.

NSW Health on Monday night flagged more than 20 new venues of concern and there are around 30 Sydney bus and train routes associated with confirmed cases of COVID‑19.

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