New South Wales has recorded 830 new community Covid-19 cases and three Covid-related deaths a day after thousands of anti-lockdown protesters broke stay-at-home orders to take to the streets in Sydney and Melbourne.
The deaths of a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s, and a woman in her 80s bring the death toll during the current outbreak to 71. The two men had received one dose of the Covid vaccine; the woman was unvaccinated.
There are 550 patients in NSW hospitals with Covid-19 - almost 100 in intensive care.
Fifty of today's local cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 694 remains under investigation.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys revealed that 940 penalty infringement notices were issued across the state yesterday.
"Of course, many of those [were] in the centre of Sydney and surrounds in relation to the protest – or lack of protest activity, thankfully – in the city yesterday," he said.
"What I would like to highlight today is, again, in the last 24 hours over 5000 people right across the state were checked to make sure that they complied with their isolation orders. These are people who are directed to stay at home, these are positive cases, close contacts, people who clearly know that they need to isolate at a location."
Worboys said it's important that those who are meant to be isolating "need to stay put".
"You need to do what is asked of you because the actual presence of police in terms of inspecting that you are where you should be is not a routine thing," he said.
NSW yesterday reported a record-breaking 825 new locally acquired cases.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) vice president Stephen Parnis told ABC News this morning he had been "concerned for a while" about the situation in Greater Sydney – where a slate of harder restrictions will come into effect tomorrow.
"It seems that if you are reacting after the virus has done something, you're already too late. You really need to try and get in ahead of it," Parnis said.
"The main concern I have with Sydney's lockdown is that it is patchy. You can't effectively lock down, isolate, across the greater metro area if you are treating local government areas like a patchwork quilt. The virus does not respect municipal boundaries."
Parnis added that he "would have hoped the NSW Government would have learned" from Melbourne's experience last year, albeit with a much less infectious strain of the virus.
"That said, the direction is in the right one and clearly we need rates of vaccination that are so much more higher than where we are at the moment before you can contemplate lifting these things," he said.
"So, again, I'm deeply concerned when the NSW Premier starts talking about lifting restrictions on a day when numbers are dangerously high."
Victoria today recorded 65 new community Covid-19 cases, including 16 which were recorded yesterday morning via rapid antigen testing.
Of the 65 local cases, 55 are linked to current outbreaks and 10 are under investigation. Further case information was being finalised and would be provided shortly, health authorities said.
With concerns over people delaying tests, growing exposure site lists and growth in the mystery cases, Parnis said "the trajectory is heading in the wrong direction" in Victoria.
"We know from past experience that when the numbers increase, that translates through to more sick people, more hospital presentations," Parnis told ABC News this morning.
"And already in Melbourne we've seen an impact with hundreds of exposure sites, lots of people – over 10,000 to 15,000 in isolation, and that includes a significant amount of health workers. It's putting pressure on health services.
"And then, of course, we saw these protests yesterday, which are demoralising because people are doing the exact opposite of what they purport to do, which is improve people's freedoms. They actually make it worse for everyone."
Nine members of Victoria Police were sent to hospital after yesterday's anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne, Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters during a press conference this morning.
One of those officers may need surgery for a leg injury, while several others have broken noses.
The ACT has recorded 19 new Covid infections tpday, bringing its outbreak to 121.
Out of that number, 17 are linked to know cases, while two remain under investigation.
On Saturday the territory recorded eight new cases - all linked to known infections and all in isolation during their infectious period.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr described Saturday's figure as "good progress".
But ACT chief health officer Kerryn Coleman warned residents not to celebrate, noting Saturday's numbers did not include cases recorded after 8pm.
"[This] means that today's case [number] is probably a little artificially low, and tomorrow we'll be back up to possibly what we were seeing yesterday or the day before."