NSW's Covid crisis continues to spiral out of control with an additional 170 locally acquired cases announced on Friday.
While it stemmed a three-day run of record daily infections amid the Delta outbreak, it is the fourth highest total since the virus re-emerged in the community on June 16 and Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned cases would likely rise again in the coming days.
At least 42 cases were in the community for the entirety of their infectious period. Another 53 remain under investigation.
Thursday's total of 239 was the biggest daily total recorded in NSW since the pandemic began.
Amid speculation a second anti-lockdown protest could take place on Saturday, Ms Berejiklian warned such actions could prove fatal.
"Do not give those you love the most a death sentence," she said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said you would have to be "crackers" to attend a protest.
"There will be a lot of people potentially with that deadly weapon, the Delta virus."
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said 1000 officers would be deployed if the protest materialises.
'Tragic' mistake Covid cases are making
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant revealed people are making the mistake of presenting too late for medical treatment, calling such a trend "tragic".
"When people present late, we haven't got the opportunity to provide them with the great care that our health services can provide," Dr Kerry Chant said.
She said when this happens "outcomes can be much poorer".
"My key messages is don't delay getting tested. Get tested as with Covid you can deteriorate very quickly. Just please, never be fearful of coming to a health service for care."
Mr Hazzard described a "terrible situation" where people were now presenting to hospital with deceased relatives after failing to seek medical assistance previously.
Dr Chant said she is "struck by the tragedy" of such a trend. Thirteen people have died from the virus in NSW since the outbreak began.
Ms Berejiklian reiterated the focus on vaccines, stating NSW is beyond a third of a way to its target of 10 million jabs administered.
Protester turned away from rally was infectious
Dr Chant said families should make a concerted effort to ensure older relatives get their vaccine.
More than 95,000 tests were processed on Thursday.
There are currently 187 cases admitted to hospital, with 58 in intensive care, 24 of whom require ventilation.
On Thursday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian tightened restrictions again, with two million people in the eight western Sydney local government areas of concern unable to leave those areas unless they are essential workers.
Residents in those LGAs, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River, are only allowed to travel five kilometres from their homes.
As police move to stop another lockdown protest going ahead this weekend, NSW authorities revealed somebody who was stopped from attending last Saturday's rally subsequently tested positive for Covid.
Dr Chant said authorities are trying to ascertain if that person attended the protest.
"If that person would have attended the protest, they would have been infectious," she said.
"The police did indicate they had turned the person around and they were given an infringement notice.
"I just cannot contemplate why people at this point in time would think that gathering together in a space, travelling on public transport from all parts of NSW would be in anyone's interest at the moment."
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