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Why Covid Delta case numbers keep surging in western Sydney but not the North Shore

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The number of Covid infections continues to rise in Sydney’s west as the suburbs north of the harbor enjoy zero active cases for days.

A closer look at the data shows a strong correlation between the proportion of employees who are able to work from home and the level of infection, with many new cases contracting the virus in critical workplaces and then unknowingly taking it home to their families.

In May 2021, a month before Sydney went into lockdown, 37.3 percent of professionals on the North Shore were already working or were able to do so from home.

This area north of Sydney Harbor also has lower infection rates, with zero active cases recorded in Gordon, St Ives, Cammeray and Cremorne, despite less stringent lockdown restrictions.

The number of Covid infections continues to rise in Sydney’s west as the suburbs north of the harbor continue to record zero active cases. A closer look at the data shows a strong correlation between the proportion of employees who can work from home and the level of infection

Link between working from home and Covid

NORTH SYDNEY AND HORNSBY: 37.3 percent work from home

No active cases at Gordon, St Ives, Cammeray and Cremorne

SYDNEY SOUTHWEST: 12.3 percent work from home

637 active cases in Liverpool, 445 in Fairfield

BLACKTOWN: 17.5 percent work from home

510 active cases in Blacktown

PARRAMATTA: 22.2 percent work from home

808 active cases in Merrylands, 1027 in Guildford, 612 in Auburn

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics SA4 areas linked to NSW government Covid data by suburb

Further north, Mount Kuring-gai, Berowra and Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River also recorded no active cases on Aug. 31, within the same wider official statistical area known as North Sydney and Hornsby.

The story is very different in southwestern Sydney, where only 12.3 percent of people were able to work from home.

For those who work in essential services, including aged care, hospitals, taxis, supermarkets and takeaways, there is little choice but to go to work.

These areas of Sydney are also hot spots with 637 active cases in Liverpool and 445 in Fairfield.

Case rates are also high in the Blacktown area of ​​western Sydney, where only 17.5 percent of adults were able to work from home.

Blacktown itself is also home to 510 active cases.

The Parramatta statistical area also has high cases in a region of western Sydney where only 22.2 percent of people are able to work from home.

Merrylands, day by day, is a suburb of concern with 808 active cases as of Tuesday, while nearby Guildford had 1,027 active cases.

Auburn had 612 active cases.

These three suburbs fall within the Cumberland municipal area which overlaps with the Parramatta SA4 area as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

At every daily media conference, they’re on New South Wales’ list of suburbs of concern, Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant.

These suburbs also fall within 12 local government areas where residents are required to adhere to a 9pm to 5am curfew, not venture more than 3 miles from home in any direction, and are not allowed to go to work unless they have an essential service worker to be.

Real estate data group CoreLogic has created a chart based on ABS data that shows the areas with the highest and lowest levels of people who can work from home.

Merrylands (pictured is the Centrelink), day in and day out, is a suburb of concern with 808 active cases, as on Monday, while nearby Guildford had 1,027 active cases

Merrylands (pictured is the Centrelink), day in and day out, is a suburb of concern with 808 active cases, as on Monday, while nearby Guildford had 1,027 active cases

North Sydney and Hornsby had the highest percentage of people working from home, followed by the City and Inner South (34.9 percent), Ryde (34.2 percent), Inner West (31.9 percent), Eastern Suburbs (31.6 percent). percent), Northern Beaches (28.1 percent), Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (24.3 percent) and Sutherland (23.4 percent).

These areas to the north and east of the city also have a higher proportion of the population aged 16 and over who have been fully vaccinated, with 53.3 percent receiving two doses in the Upper North Municipality of Ku-ring-gai Shore.

These areas have less active Covid cases with a NSW government map showing mainly the suburbs in these areas as yellow, orange and occasionally pink.

By contrast, western Sydney south and west of Homebush is mainly a sea of ​​browns and maroons with extant active cases in the hundreds rather than single or double digits.

The only exception to the rule is the Central Coast, where only 11.3 percent of people were able to work from home.

Case counts north of Broken Bay remain low with zero active cases at Avoca Beach, Erina Height and Ourimbah.

In May 2021, a month before Sydney went into lockdown, 37.3 percent of professionals on the North Shore were already working or were able to do so from home.  This area north of Sydney Harbor also has lower infection rates, with zero active cases recorded in Gordon, St Ives, Cammeray and Cremorne (pictured are dog walkers at nearby Milsons Point during lockdown)

In May 2021, a month before Sydney went into lockdown, 37.3 percent of professionals on the North Shore were already working or were able to do so from home. This area north of Sydney Harbor also has lower infection rates, with zero active cases recorded in Gordon, St Ives, Cammeray and Cremorne (pictured are dog walkers at nearby Milsons Point during lockdown)

But unlike Sydney’s west and southwest, migrants make up a much smaller proportion of the Central Coast’s population: 81.5 percent of Ourimah’s residents were born in Australia and 91 percent speak only English at home.

By comparison, only 29.5 percent of Auburn residents were born in Australia in 2016, while only 12.9 percent spoke only English at home.

Western Sydney is also home to a higher proportion of people who work in mobile services, such as taxi driving, and residents are much more likely to live in a home or unit with more people than the national average.

NSW recorded 1,288 new Covid cases and seven deaths on Thursday.

Real estate data group CoreLogic produced a chart Thursday, based on ABS data, showing the areas with the highest and lowest levels of people who can work from home.

Real estate data group CoreLogic produced a chart Thursday, based on ABS data, showing the areas with the highest and lowest levels of people who can work from home.

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