As the delta variant spreads in Sydney the leader of Australia's most populated state, New South Wales, extended the city's lockdown for another week.
Sydney is fighting its worst outbreak of the year with another 27 COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters new cases are bound to rise: "This Delta strain is a game-changer, it is extremely transmissible and more contagious than any other form of the virus that we've seen."
Schools in Sydney will move to remote learning next week and three hotspot areas in the city's west have been told to stay at home.
Lockdowns, swift contact tracing, and limits on travel have helped cases remain relatively low in the country.
But the country has been slow to vaccinate with fewer than 10 percent of Australians nationwide vaccinated.
Inadequate vaccine supplies have prompted widespread anger and frustration.
Health authorities are also under fire for inadvertently vaccinating several high school students, who are at the end of the vaccination queue, but New South Wales' Health Minister deflected and pointed the finger at the media for highlighting the error.