S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) fell 1.04% by 12.53 pm to 6092 with the heavyweight miners and health stocks the biggest drag.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there are 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the state in the last 24 hours.
She requested people to avoid crowds on the weekend and warned gatherings in homes and hospitality venues were the most risky.
Victoria has hit a massive new COVID-19 record, with 484 new cases recorded in 24 hours, The Australian reports.
Retail sales rise
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said retail sales lifted by 2.4% in June, with the re-opening of cafes and worried shoppers back stockpiling toilet paper and flour contributing to the gain.
Todays top gainers on the ASX include Yandal Resources Ltd (ASX:YRL) (+11.32%), Engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) (+14.29%), Kingwest Resources Ltd (ASX:KWR) (+15.38%), Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) (+14.29%) and Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) (+100.00%).
Proactive news headlines:
De Grey Mining grows scale of Hemi gold discovery with Aquila extensions
De Grey Mining Ltd (ASX:DEG) continues to increase the overall dimensions of the Hemi gold discovery near Port Hedland in Western Australia with recent drilling extending the Aquila zone at depth and along strike.