Young people are being urged to abide by New South Wales' tight lockdown restrictions, as health authorities reveal a person in their 20s is currently in intensive care and on a ventilator after a Covid-19 diagnosis.
NSW's chief health officer Kerry Chant said there were currently 43 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals, 10 of whom were in intensive care.
Four people, including the person in their 20s, require ventilation.
"We have 14 people admitted to hospital at the moment with Covid-19 under the age of 55, and of those, seven are under the age of 35 and I'm just going to read this next piece very slowly," she said on Friday.
"Of the 10 people in ICU, one is in their 20s. One is in their 30s. One is in their 50s. Five are in their 60s and two are in their 70s.
"This trend has to be turned around, and the only way we can do so is by seeing a decline in numbers.
"Covid cannot affect people if you do not come into contact with them … That is the basis of the stay at home orders."
Dr Chant's plea came as the state recorded 44 new cases on Friday, 29 of which were partially or fully out in the community while infectious.
Lockdown rules tightened
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced tougher restrictions this afternoon as she warned the state wouldn't end lockdown until cases "get to zero or close to zero".
She said today's record number was "the opposite of where we need or want the numbers to trend".
"No state or nation or any country on the planet can live with the Delta variant when our vaccination rates are so low," she said.
"If we choose to live with this while the rates of vaccinations are at 9 per cent, we will see thousands and thousands of hospitalisations and deaths."
That means "until we get to zero or close to zero, we cannot ease restrictions", and "in fact, based on the health advice, NSW will be further tightening restrictions in those areas that already have stay-at-home orders".
Outdoor exercise has been reduced from 10 people to two people, and only within 10km of home.
Only one person is allowed to leave home for essential shopping except under "exceptional circumstances".
Funerals will also be reduced to 10 people.
The new rules will take effect from 5pm today.
Berejiklian said NSW might not exit lockdown next Friday.
"NSW is facing the biggest challenge we have faced since the pandemic started and I don't say that lightly," she said.
"And unless there is a dramatic change, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the numbers, I can't see how we would be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday, and that is why all of us need to work together."
By Ellen Ransley, news.com.au