WATCH

COVID-19 NSW: New Delta strain discovered in Sydney

AS the number of active COVID cases in the northern beaches continues to fall, a new Delta strain of the virus has been discovered in western Sydney.

Active cases in the Beaches dropped by nine to 128, data to 8pm on Friday shows, with the majority of cases still in the 2099 postcode at 43 (down by three in the past 24 hours).

Active cases by postcode

  • 0 in 2108 (Palm Beach, Coasters Retreat, Currawong Beach, Great Mackerel Beach)
  • 2 in 2107 (Avalon, Bilgola, Clareville, Whale Beach)
  • 2 in 2106 (Newport)
  • 1 in 2105 (Church Point, Scotland Island and Elvina, Lovett and Morning bays)
  • 0 in 2104 (Bayview)
  • 5 in 2103 (Mona Vale)
  • 3 in 2102 (Warriewood)
  • 3 in 2101 (Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Ingleside)
  • 24 in 2100 (Brookvale, Beacon Hill, Allambie, North Manly, Oxford Falls)
  • 43 in 2099 (Dee Why, Cromer, Narraweena, North Curl Curl)
  • 1 in 2097 (Collaroy, Wheeler Heights)
  • 4 in 2096 (Curl Curl, Freshwater, Queenscliff)
  • 14 in 2095 (Manly)
  • 3 in 2094 (Fairlight)
  • 6 in 2093 (Balgowlah, Clontarf, Manly Vale)
  • 6 in 2092 (Seaforth)
  • 4 in 2087 (Forestville, Killarney Heights)
  • 3 in 2086 (Frenchs Forest)
  • 3 in 2085 (Belrose, Davidson)
  • 0 in 2084 (Terrey Hills, Cottage Point, Duffys Forest)

In NSW, 580 new COVID cases were recorded to 8pm on Friday, this is the lowest daily figure since mid-August.

But in a worrying development, Dr Kerry Chant said on Saturday that the new Delta strain of the virus had been identified through genome sequencing.

"As routine, we progressively do special testing ... and we've detected a genome of the Delta strain which is different from that that was previously transmitting in our community," she said.

"We've linked that back to a person who returned from overseas but the exact mechanism of how that strain emerged and got into the community in western Sydney is still under investigation so we will update you as those investigations continue.

NSW chief health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.

NSW chief health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.

"But I want to reassure you that there's nothing about this Delta strain ... that suggested it's any more transmissible, going to cause illness or any other issues additional to the current Delta strain.

"So in essence, it is another Delta strain circulating in the community."

More than 79,000 tests were conducted in the reporting period, the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.

Eleven people died with the virus and there are 812 people in hospital, including 163 in intensive care.

Of the 580 locally acquired cases:

  • 130 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD);
  • 98 are from Hunter New England LHD;
  • 74 are from Western Sydney LHD;
  • 54 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD;
  • 42 are from Sydney LHD;
  • 42 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD;
  • 41 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD;
  • 31 are from Central Coast LHD;
  • 20 are from Southern NSW LHD;
  • 17 are from Western NSW LHD;
  • nine are from Northern Sydney LHD;
  • seven are from Northern NSW LHD;
  • six are from Far West LHD;
  • four are in correctional settings and;
  • five are yet to be assigned to an LHD.

About 90 per cent of the state's population aged 16 and over have received a first vaccine dose.

More than 72 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said case numbers would rise again as restrictions eased from Monday.

He urged people to follow the rules that will remain in place.

"We know that as we open up, case numbers will increase," he said.

"But what has been key to keeping people safe is our high vaccination rate. We have the highest vaccination rate in the country.

"But I know there's a sense of excitement... I just ask people over the course of the weekend, follow the rules that are in place."

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