As at 8pm, Saturday, 21 March, 2020, an additional 97 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed since our update of 8pm 20 March, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in NSW to 533.
The majority of cases diagnosed in NSW were either acquired overseas or are a contact of a known case. Forty-six cases have been locally acquired without an identified source of infection. Investigations to establish any links between cases in order to prevent further spread are ongoing.
*A single male case without a recorded date of birth has been notified and is currently being followed up.
Several new diagnoses of COVID-19 have been made in backpackers in the Bondi area. There were two recent parties that some of the cases attended where the cases may have acquired their infections. People who also attended these parties should be on alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately isolate themselves if any symptoms develop. They should then seek testing via a GP or COVID clinic, and tell the medical service that they had attended one of the parties:
An additional two new cases with exposure identified as a Sydney Church of Christ service on March 8 at Ryde Civic Centre attended by more than 300 people, taking the total to nine.
There has been a confirmed case in a childcare worker at Smeaton Grange Young Academics Child Care Centre. All children and staff who attended the centre between March 2 and March 16 are considered close contacts and are being contacted and told to self-isolate. The centre will close until March 30.
There are five cruise ship voyages into Sydney linked to confirmed COVID-19 cases: The Voyager of the Seas (1 case) which docked March 7; the Ovation of the Seas (2 cases) which docked March 18; a second cruise of The Voyager of the Seas (1 case) which docked March 18; The Ruby Princess (18 cases notified in NSW) which docked March 19; the Celebrity Solstice (1 case reported in New Zealand) which docked March 20. Cases are in self-isolation either at home or in hospital. All passengers and crew have been notified and advised to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor symptoms. Investigations are continuing.
NSW Health thanks the community for their cooperation and provision of comprehensive information to NSW Health to allow effective contact tracing. Identification and isolation of contacts is a critical measure that limits the spread of COVID-19. Compliance with self-isolation by all contacts and returned travellers is essential.
NSW Health is urging people to practice social distancing. When social distancing actions are combined with good personal hygiene measures the spread of an epidemic through the community can be slowed. This helps protect the most vulnerable members of the community. It also reduces the impact of the epidemic on essential, life-saving health services by reducing the size of the peak of the epidemic so health services can continue to provide high quality care to all patients. Everybody must play their part.
For information on social distancing see COVID-19 - Frequently asked questions.
NSW Health also wants to remind the public about new regulations surrounding mass gatherings that can be found by visiting Public Health (COVID-19 Gatherings) Order 2020 under the Public Health Act 2010.