WORKERS will not be allowed to leave some Sydney communities unless they are essential workers as the state government works to tighten its COVID lockdown and halt the leak of Delta variant cases into the community.
NSW will also lobby the federal government for a "refocus" in the vaccine rollout to target southwestern Sydney, including younger workers who "keep Sydney running 24/7" as NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said further measures were needed to stop the spread.
Blacktown and Cumberland local government area (LGA) residents were informed of the new stay-at-home rules for their suburbs as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced 136 cases of local transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday.
She said 53 of those were infectious in community, and another death had been recorded overnight.
The death was an 89-year-old man but no further details would be released until family are informed, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
"There is no doubt the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage, and it is apparent that we won't be close to zero by Friday," Ms Berejiklian said.
"What we need more than anything else is first jabs in arms for people who haven't been vaccinated; that is our priority."
Dr Chant said "urgent additional measures", including additional doses in those areas, were required given that people in those areas were required to work to keep the country going.
"In looking at how the transmission is occurring, we have seen transmision continue in households ... but also some community spread for places where people have to go and get food," she said.
"The other element of the transmission is in workplaces.
"These are not the discretionary businesses; these are people who keep the supermarkets stocked, are working in food and other settings.
"Because of that, my view is that we need to get vaccines into younger people in southwestern Sydney."
Dr Chant said cases would have been "skyrocketing exponential numbers" without the lockdown, but it was crucial new strategies were employed given the case numbers remained stubborn.
"The first element we can look at is our vaccine strategy, and the first is talking the communities on the ground ... and how we can help support them," she said.
Ms Berejiklian said the state needed "at least more first doses of Pfizer" in some of the hot spots, and would lobby national cabinet for a change in focus for the vaccine rollout.
She said many of the communities battling rising case numbers had younger populations, which meant they were not recommended to receive AstraZeneca without discussing it with a doctor under the health advice.
"What has become apparent in the last two weeks is that almost no-one with two doses of the vaccine is having a serious illness as a result of the virus," she said.
"Both vaccines are working, but we need to get more into arms."
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged people "not to listen to the scare-mongers", outlining that chances of serious health complications were higher from contracting the virus than receiving the jab.
"There is no argument; you should step forward and have the vaccine," he said.
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