THE NSW Premier has urged people in Greater Sydney to respect the rules after there were 38 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.
Of those, 11 were in the community while infectious.
Another nine were moving around the community while "partially infectious".
"Those numbers are too high," Gladys Berejiklian said. "Please avoid contact with other households. Please avoid visiting family and friends.
"The saddest message out of all of this is that people with the virus are passing it on to those they love most... Parents. Children. Grandparents. The rules are there for all of us to respect. I do appreciate how difficult it is."
Ms Berejiklian said just under 40,000 people in NSW were tested for COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday.
She urged more people to come forward for testing, and adhere to the restrictions.
"We need less movement to get the number of exposures down," she said.
"If you have the mildest of symptoms, don't go out to a workplace. If you have symptoms, the only reason you should be leaving home is for a COVID test.
"We don't want to prolong the lockdown."
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said of the 38 new cases, 17 were in isolation while infectious.
Of the 40 COVID-19 patients in hospital, 11 were in intensive care, and three required ventilated.
"Every time we leave our home we need to consider that we may come into contact with someone who has COVID, it is so critical we minimise our movements," she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said compliance with the health orders in NSW was "critical" as he announced federal financial support for Greater Sydney people entering their third week of lockdown.
What was happening in Sydney had wider implications for the state and national economy, and they would work with the state "hand in glove" to get on top of the virus over the next week and "potentially beyond".
"You have to respond to the evidence, and the evidence is, there will be a need for further support because this is going longer in Sydney," he said. "Given the circumstances we are now seeing unfold in Sydney, we will work very closely with NSW to ensure there is appropriate economic support should the conditions in NSW require further restrictions."
He said they were working with the states and territories to get effective in-reach services into aged care to ensure workers had "priority access" to vaccines before they become mandatory in September.
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