NSW business support is on the way, Gladys Berejiklian says, after 112 new COVID-19 cases make a lockdown extension almost certain

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  • New South Wales counted 112 new cases of coronavirus in the community overnight, marking the state’s worst single day since the start of the pandemic.
  • The growing number of cases suggests the Greater Sydney lockdown, slated to end on Friday, will face another extension.
  • Premier Gladys Berejiklian said further support measures for businesses and workers will be revealed in the coming days.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

New South Wales recorded 112 new cases of coronavirus in the community over Sunday, the state’s worst single day since the start of the pandemic, as government authorities reportedly contemplate new financial support measures — including a state-run take on JobKeeper.

Speaking in Sydney on Monday morning, Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared 112 cases were detected in the community to 8pm last night, with only 48 in isolation for the duration of their infectious period.

The new figures bring the number of cases linked to the state’s most recent outbreak to 678.

Health authorities are particularly concerned about transmission in the south-west Sydney region, Berejiklian said, with the bulk of those new infections detected in Fairfield, Smithfield, Bossley Park, Fairfield Heights, Fairfield West, Wakeley, Bonnyrigg, Glenfield, and West Hoxton.

New cases have also been detected in the Georges River, Bayside, and Sutherland local government areas.

NSW is in an “absolutely critical phase of this disease,” Berejiklian said, while ratcheting up calls for essential workers in the hard-hit Fairfield local government area to stay home if they observe any symptoms.

“If you’re a key worker or you work in multiple sites and you’re from the Fairfield local government area, we would prefer you stayed at home unless you absolutely have to leave the house and unless you can assure that you have a negative COVID test before you proceed to your normal activities,” Berejiklian said.

New financial support package on the cards

That focus on essential workers comes as state and federal authorities thrash out new measures to support hard-hit businesses and workers through the lockdown, which is all but certain to extend past Friday.

There are also concerns that essential workers with insecure employment may feel pressured to stay on the job, despite calls to limit movement as much as possible.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and his federal counterpart, Josh Frydenberg, have discussed plans for a new, joint support package.

The new offering would reportedly add to the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 disaster payment, and the targeted business grants already revealed by the state.

Perrottet has also contemplated a state-run alternative to the federal government’s $90 billion JobKeeper scheme, which expired in March.

But Berejiklian did not confirm any details on Monday, instead insisting that further information will be revealed in the coming days.

“Obviously what we announce in the next few days will have a mind on supporting businesses potentially for a longer period, depending on how long the lockdown lasts,” Berejiklian said.

“New South Wales has done its work, we are in negotiations with the Commonwealth, and we hope to have something to say in the next few days.”

Vaccine access expanded in hotspots

In response to the latest outbreak, a new vaccination hub will open at Fairfield Showgrounds from Friday, prioritising teachers and aged care workers from the Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas.

In addition, Berejiklian said pharmacists in the state will soon be permitted to administer the vaccine to those over 40, joining the state-run vaccination hubs and general practices in the rollout strategy.

A mass vaccination site is will open in Belmont on Monday, with a new vaccine clinic opening in the CBD on the same day.

Mass vaccination centres in Macquarie Fields and Wollongong will open in late July and August, respectively.

The state expects these sites will allow NSW to vaccinate approximately 200,000 people each week.