"Of the seven people in ICU, one is in their 30s - a bit of a wake-up call to young people," says NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.
The current lockdown for Sydney and its surrounding regions has been extended until midnight, 16 July after 27 new COVID-19 cases were reported overnight, of which more than half were in the community while infectious.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated her strategy of avoiding a scenario where the lockdown is lifted prematurely only to be reapplied again.
"Our strategy is about saving lives but also saving businesses and jobs and keeping the economy open, and whilst it is painful for all of us, please know this decision wasn't taken lightly," the Premier said.
"For that extra week, we think it's well worth it if it's going to prevent us from having to go in and out of lockdown."
The ongoing lockdown applies to all of Greater Sydney, as well as the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong.
"I appreciate that communities like the Central Coast or Shellharbour or Wollongong, who may have had a number of cases in the last little while, but they will be particularly frustrated that they have to do another week but this is really to prevent mobility.
"We know that for essential items or essential work people are still moving, and it's really easy to transfer the virus from one community to another."
Berejiklian said most of the cases recorded overnight were from people spreading the virus in their own households, families and friendship circles.
"Dr Chant (Chief Health Officer) and I can recount the number of examples where people are feeling enormous guilt because they've gone home and given the virus to their children, to their partner and to other extended members of family if they live in one household," she said.
"That's the last thing any of us want - the guilt of having passed on the virus to those closest to us. That's what's happening."
NSW health authorities have shifted their focus to the southwestern Sydney local government areas of Fairfield, Canterbury, Bankstown and Liverpool.
"I can foreshadow overnight that we've had a number of cases more than we would have liked to have seen, so I'm anticipating that tomorrow's number will be higher than what we've seen today. But they are at the moment concentrated in three local government areas," the Premier said.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant noted that of the 37 COVID cases in hospital, 14 were aged under 55, which should dispel the myth that this virus is something that only leads to impacts for the elderly.
"Of the seven people in ICU (intensive care unit), one is in their 30s - a bit of a wake-up call to young people; one in their 50s, two in their 60s and three in their 70s," Dr Chant said.
Updated at 11:44am AEST on 7 July 2021.
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