Dr Chant told the coronavirus update on Friday NSW Health has been running a program throughout the pandemic on genome sequencing.
“Those investigations have identified a strain of Delta which is different genome sequencing to the current strains circulating in Sydney,” she told the briefing, which was livestreamed to Facebook.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has revealed New South Wales authorities have uncovered eight local COVID-19 infections of a different Delta strain. Picture: Getty Images
Dr Chant said there is “no indication” the new strain presents any differences regarding transmission, vaccine effectiveness or severity.
“There are currently eight cases with this particular Delta strain, seven people in one household and one additional case,” she said.
“We’re undertaking some investigations into the source and how the transmission occurred and we’ll update you when any information is available.”
Dr Chant announced the state recorded a total of 646 local coronavirus infections on Friday and 11 deaths.
Across NSW, 89.4 per cent of the over-16 population had received a least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 70.3 per cent were fully vaccinated as of 11.59pm on Wednesday.
Dr Chant thanked vaccinated residents for protecting themselves, their loved ones and the wider community, “however we have to set our sights to achieve well over 90 per cent double-dose vaccination”.
“I am confident we can achieve this ambitious target,” she told the COVID-19 update on Friday.
She also reminded residents to take a cautious approach come “freedom day”.
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“We are looking forward to opening up on Monday but it is important that as we do, we do it safely,” Dr Chant said.
“Please remember that it’s critical you continue to wear your masks where they’re required, continue to maintain that physical distancing and most importantly do not go out and about if you have COVID symptoms.”
The 11 deaths reported on Friday include two women and nine men. Two were in their 50s, one was in their 60s, four were in their 70s and four were in their 80s.
Of the fatalities, five were from southwestern Sydney, three were from western Sydney, one was from southeastern Sydney, one was from Sydney’s inner city and one was from Sydney’s Lower North Shore.
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Seven people were not vaccinated, three had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and one was fully vaccinated.
A man in his 80s was a resident at Allity Beechwood Aged Care Facility, where he contracted the virus. It is the fourth death linked to an outbreak at this facility.
There have now been 414 COVID-related deaths in NSW during the latest outbreak and a total of 470 in the state since the start of the pandemic.
There are currently 856 coronavirus patients in hospital, with 170 people in intensive care and 75 of those on ventilators.

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