First mass COVID-19 vaccination hub opens in Sydney
Compulsory masks and household gathering limits will remain until Monday May 17, as contact tracers fail to find the source of an eastern Sydney couple's infection.
The first mass vaccination centre in New South Wales has opened this morning as state health authorities extend snap restrictions for another week.
The opening of the Homebush facility in Sydney's west marks a significant step forward in the state's fight against COVID-19.
Police officers have been deployed to help control queues and scan QR codes for arrivals before they head inside to receive the jab.
"I think it is great that they have put it up here. They are making it accessible to everyone which is great," one person told 9News while waiting in line this morning.
The hub is expected to accept roughly 5000 people per day and up to 30,000 vaccinations every week.
Meanwhile, Sydney's snap COVID-19 restrictions introduced on Thursday have been extended for another week, with one significant change to mask rules.https://twitter.com/GladysB/status/1391198751369228289?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
The extension comes despite NSW recording no new local cases again overnight.
Health authorities remain concerned about how an eastern Sydney couple in their 50s acquired their infections, with contact tracers unable to find a link with the genomically-linked US case who entered hotel quarantine in Sydney on April 26.
"Despite extensive investigations to date, NSW Health has not identified how the initial case, the man in his 50s, was exposed to COVID-19, which suggests he acquired the infection through brief contact with a currently unidentified person who was infectious in the community," NSW Health wrote in a statement.
Restrictions around mandatory masks, a limit of 20 people gathering inside homes, and visits to aged care facilities are now scheduled to end at 12.01am on Monday, May 17.
Singing and dancing are also banned indoors, with the exception of weddings, and pub-goers must remain seated while drinking.
The extended rules apply across Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Illawarra, and the Blue Mountains.
However, rules around mask use have been eased slightly, with masks no longer compulsory for customers shopping at retail stores.
Masks continue to be mandated for retail staff in public-facing roles.
There were six new cases of coronavirus found in the state's quarantine hotels in the past 24 hours.
The results come from just over 18,000 tests - down from over 22,000 the day before.
The rule tweaks come after a new health alert was issued yesterday for a Woolworths in Sydney's eastern suburbs after the store was visited by a positive case.
Anyone who was at the Woolworths supermarket on the corner of Kiaora Lane and Kiaora Road in Double Bay last Monday between 10.45am and 11am has been deemed a casual contact.
They must get tested for coronavirus immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1390854578518720517?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw