"Had we not gone into lockdown a few weeks ago, the 110 number today would undoubtedly have been thousands and thousands," says NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Daily COVID-19 cases in NSW rose to 110 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, which Premier Gladys Berejiklian admits is a high number but one that reflects a record 84,000 daily tests.
"That is the highest number New South Wales has ever had in a single day, and I especially want to thank the community of Fairfield for coming out in large numbers, but also to everybody who put themselves forward for testing," she says.
"This is a great result and one that we need to keep up during the next few weeks to make sure we capture all the cases that are out in the community.
"What is concerning, however, is that 43 people in that in those number of cases were infectious in the community."
She emphasises those 43 people haven't necessarily done the wrong thing, but what the figure shows is how infectious and contagious the virus is.
"It means that every time you have contact with another human being, you risk either getting the virus or passing the virus on," Berejiklian adds.
"Our vaccination rates are so low and yet we've done really well in stemming the growth of the virus. What we need to do now is quash it," she says, noting safety is key at the moment to give the state "economic freedom down the track".
Of the latest locally acquired cases, 54 are linked to a known case or cluster, 40 are household contacts and 14 are close contacts, and the source of infection for 56 cases is under investigation.
Dr Jeremy McAnulty from the NSW Ministry of Health says there are 106 people with COVID admitted to hospital in the state, of whom 23 are in intensive care with 11 requiring ventilators.
While the focus of cases has been in Southwestern Sydney, McAnulty observes an increase in Western Sydney and elsewhere such as Belrose, Haymarket and Wollongong.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro has given further details in relation to the seven-day lockdown announced last night for the Central West NSW towns of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne.
"On the advice of course of NSW Health, the NSW Government made a decision for the first time to act fast, hard and local, and lock down three local government areas in regional and rural New South Wales," Barilaro says.
"Those stay home orders are that you can't leave home unless for work or education, for medical care, of course for shopping for groceries or for goods and services, and for exercise.
"We also accept that hospitality will now close unless offering takeaway, and this decision was made to make sure we protect those communities."
McAnulty explains a truck driver who unknowingly had COVID-19 travelled from Sydney to Blayney for authorised work, completing four overnight trips from Western Sydney and the regional town between 13-17 July while potentially infectious.
A close contact from the Nestle Purina petcare factory has since tested positive to COVID and as a result all other staff at the factory are being tested and are in isolation. Other drivers who have transported goods to and from the factory are also being tested.
Click here for a list of NSW exposure sites.
Updated at 11:38am AEST on 21 July 2021.
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