Residents of a Sydney street have been placed in hard lockdown today, with police advising them to stay indoors for their own safety.
Thursday Place in Green Valley in Sydney’s south-west was blocked off by police cars on either end this morning, with officers in full personal protective equipment (PPE) patrolling the area.
Two ambulances also attended a home in the street and white vans have arrived to carry out cleaning. Some residents have been escorted to wait in their cars, while cleaning is carried out.
But many households have been left confused and scared, with a lack of information about what is happening. Residents calling the COVID hotline have been told no information can be given out while the situation is unfolding.
Since midnight on Saturday, people who reside in the local government areas of Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown have been barred from leaving their local area for work. Only emergency services and health workers are exempt from the stay-at-home order.
People residing in Thursday Place, however, have been told by police they cannot leave their home even for shopping for essential goods and services, receiving medical care, exercising, or conducting essential work or education. They were told further directives from NSW Health are pending.
The tighter lockdown is aimed at achieving zero new COVID-19 infectious cases in the community – something NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has set as a requirement to easing restrictions.
During the lockdown, police have special powers available under numerous pieces of legislation, including the Health Act 1956, the Summary Offences Act 1981, and the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002. Breach consequences include warnings, fines and prosecutions if deemed necessary.
The NSW Department of Health would not comment on the situation.
UPDATED 6PM: The Department of Health confirmed a woman aged 57 has died of COVID-19 at a house in Thursday Place, Green Valley. The woman is understood to be the mother of two removalists, aged 27 and 21, who were recently charged with violating public travel orders to restrict the spread of the illness.
A statement read: “NSW Health today sadly reports the death of a woman in her 50s who was a confirmed COVID-19 case. She was a resident of southwestern Sydney and a close contact of a Covid case.
“This is the 61st death in NSW related to COVID-19 and the fifth of the current outbreak.
“NSW Health extends its sincere sympathy to her family and friends.”
Main image of police in PPE patrolling Thursday Place in Green Valley, Sydney, today. Photo by Aaishah Janif