RESTRICTIONS have tightened in parts of NSW with existing stay-at-home orders in a bid to staunch COVID-19 case numbers travelling "the opposite of where we need or want the numbers to go".
NSW recorded 44 cases to 8pm on Thursday night, with 29 circulating while infectious.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said she was "extremely concerned", naming a range of suburbs where emerging cases were seen.
Sutherland, Sylvania, Hurstville and Maroubra were warned to stay vigilant as well as West Hoxton, Bass Hill, Greenacre, Panania, Bankstown, Canley Vale, Chester Hill, Edmondson Park, Moorebank, Narellan Vale and more.
"We only have 9 per cent vaccination," she said.
"We cannot let this virus take a foothold.
"This trend has to be turned around, and the only way we can do so is to turn around the numbers. COVID cannot affect people if you do not come into contact with them."
Maximum allowable outdoor groups will shrink from a maximum of 10 to two for parts of greater Sydney from 5pm on Friday, including the Central Coast.
Car pools have also been ruled out and people must stay within 10 kilometres of their home. Browsing in shops has also been ruled out.
From Sunday funerals will drop to 10 people in what Ms Berejiklian dubbed a "heartbreaking" result. Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned she expected the spike would continue given the trend in case numbers.
Restrictions in regional NSW are unchanged, NSW Health said.
"I appreciate the message I'm delivering today is quite shocking but I need everybody to be shocked," Ms Berejiklian said. "NSW is facing the biggest challenge we have faced since the pandemic started, and I don't say that lightly.
"Unless there's a dramatic turnaround in the numbers I can't see how we'll be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday."
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Ms Berejiklian said cases in southwestern Sydney were far from the only place positive tests had emerged.
"When we talk to you about the number of cases we don't worry too much about the cases in isolation because we know they're not spreading the virus," Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
"When you see 29 ... it tells us the numbers are going to go up. This is the opposite of where we need or want the numbers to go."
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