NSW Health is responding to an outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19), first diagnosed in China in December 2019. Information about this new disease is available in our FAQs.
As of 2:30pm 21 February 2020, there are four confirmed cases for COVID-19 in NSW and 55 cases under investigation. The risk of infection here is considered low.
We have implemented a range of measures to promptly identify cases of novel coronavirus infection and prevent transmission in NSW.
- Updated GPs, pharmacists, emergency departments, and the broader health system on the situation as it evolves to enable possible cases to be rapidly identified, diagnosed and managed
- Developed diagnostic tests through our Public Health laboratories to rapidly diagnose cases
- Managing any possible cases with appropriate infection control and public health measures to minimise the risk to health care workers and the community
- Provided regular updates to the community, through media briefings, media release and social media including in Mandarin
We are confident these measures have led to the report of cases under investigation.
We are working with NSW Ambulance to transfer anyone under investigation for COVID-19 safely, without risking transmission of infection to ambulance or other health care personnel. Similarly our hospitals are able to protect healthcare workers and other personnel, patients and visitors.
A range of resources are available for the public and health professional. Alerts have been sent to general practitioners and emergency departments. Updated alerts will be continued to be distributed as required.
Infection with COVID-19 is now notifiable under the NSW Public Health Act 2010, so doctors and pathology laboratories are required to notify NSW Health of all people suspected to have this infection.
Should a person living in or visiting NSW be confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, NSW Health has procedures in place to identify people who have been in contact with the confirmed case. Those people will be monitored and managed to prevent any further spread of the infection, should they be found to also have COVID-19 infection.
For more information, refer to NSW Health - Novel coronavirus (COVID-19).