Australia's Delta wave shows no sign of slowing, with NSW today recording 344 new local cases and Victoria extending its lockdown.
Queenslanders, however, can be cautiously optimistic after the sunshine state recorded just four local cases - all linked to the Indooroopilly cluster.
New South Wales
New South Wales today recorded 344 new community Covid-19 cases and two Covid-related deaths.
Sixty-five of today's cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 100 remains under investigation.
A man in his 30s from northern Sydney died at Northern Beaches Hospital, and a man in his 90s from south-west Sydney died at Concord Hospital, health officials said. The man in his 30s "did have other conditions as well", NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Thirty-four people have died from Covid since the start of the current outbreak.
Stay-at-home restrictions will be introduced in the Dubbo Local Government Area from 1pm today until at least August 19.
The vast majority of NSW is now in lockdown, with residents of Greater Sydney, Tamworth, Armidale and Byron Bay subject to stay-at-home orders. That's around 6.5 million people, or about 80 per cent of the state.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said young people are increasingly ending up in ICU.
She said the 62 Covid patients currently in ICU revealed a "young profile", including three people in their 20s, seven in their 30s, six in their 40s, 14 in their 50s, 13 in their 60s, 16 in their 70s and three in their 80s.
Fifty-seven of the 62 were unvaccinated.
"Five people have received one dose of the vaccine. You can see that the vaccine works," Chant said.
"We haven't got anybody in ICU that has received the two doses of the vaccine."
This morning, NSW Police Minister David Elliott hinted that last month's anti-lockdown protest is to blame for the state's exploding case numbers.
NSW yesterday reported a record 356 new local infections and four Covid-related deaths.
Appearing on the Today TV show, Elliott said it was "too much of a coincidence" case numbers were rising sharply in the wake of the unauthorised rally.
"I am not convinced that some of the dramas that we have with these numbers aren't a direct result of that protest three weeks ago," Elliott said.
Meanwhile, Byron Bay mayor Michael Lyon has again blasted the Sydney man who broke lockdown to travel to the region, as the excuse he gave to enter the region was revealed.
Despite the ongoing lockdown in Greater Sydney and other parts of the state, NSW's public health orders provide an exemption for "inspecting a potential new place of residence".
It has been reported police may have been told the Sydney man had that exemption.
That rule has sparked fury among the Byron Bay community, with Lyon confirming on social media the loophole does exist and labelling it "outrageous".
Other locals also voiced their fury, with some calling for the government to close the loophole immediately.
Lyon told the Daily Telegraph the man's actions indicated he didn't take Covid "seriously".
"He didn't check into QR codes, he was infectious and sick for a number of days and aware of it, and it wasn't until he was really sick that we became aware of it," he told the publication.
"His children also had symptoms and likely had Covid.
"As I understand, this bloke may be charged. Certainly, it's justified in this case. People are frustrated, outraged, it's causing economic hardship, we've had some big impacts because of lockdown and other areas because of tourism."
Melbourne's lockdown has been extended for seven days after Victoria today recorded 20 new local cases, five of which had not been linked to an existing cluster. Six of today's cases were infectious in the community.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions currently in place will not change.
Today's "mystery" cases, Andrews said, are one of the biggest concerns to authorities right now and one of the main reasons the lockdown – which was supposed to end tomorrow – has been extended.
"This is very challenging for every single Victorian who would like to be going about their business, they would like to be open and have a degree of freedom that is simply not possible because of this Delta variant," Andrews said.
Victoria reported 20 community cases yesterday, five of which were infectious in the community.
Queensland has recorded four new locally acquired Covid-19 cases today, in what Premier Annastacia Pałaszczuk has heralded as "excellent news".
All new cases are linked to the Indooroopilly cluster.
Thousands of close contacts linked to the schools caught up in the cluster - including Indooroopilly State High School, Brisbane Grammar School, Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Ironside State School - will be allowed to leave their home quarantine between Wednesday and Saturday, provided they test negative on their day 12 tests.