23 December 2020

NSW recorded eight locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with an additional eight cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Seven of the locally acquired cases are linked to the Avalon cluster. Investigations continue into the source of the Avalon cluster, which now numbers 97. Four of these cases are residents of the northern area of the Northern Beaches.

The eighth locally acquired case, reported yesterday but included in today’s numbers, is a contact of the western Sydney healthcare worker involved in patient transport. The source of their infection remains under investigation.

The total number of cases in NSW is now 4,616 since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 41,865 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared to the previous day’s record of 44,466.

We thank the community for following public health advice and continuing to come forward in high numbers to get tested as soon as even the mildest symptoms appear.

We also sincerely thank those who are self-isolating. We appreciate it is difficult, especially at Christmas, however it if you are a close contact, you must continue to self-isolate for 14 days since exposure, even if you receive a negative test result.

Confirmed cases (including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities)4,616
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases) 55
Total tests carried out 3,817,656

Of the 16 new cases to 8pm last night:

  • Eight cases are locally acquired, and of these
    • Seven cases are linked to the Avalon cluster
    • One is a close contact of a known case whose source is under investigation
  • Eight cases were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine.

Central Coast residents are being asked to continue getting tested if they have even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms, after the state’s sewage surveillance program detected traces of the virus at a treatment plant in Kincumber serving the Gosford area on Monday 21 December.

The sewerage system includes the suburbs of Niagara Park, Narara, Lisarow, Wyoming, West Gosford, North Gosford, Somersby, Kariong, Point Clare, Tascott, Koolewong, Springfield, Erina, Terrigal, Wamberal, Forresters Beach, North Avoca, Avoca Beach, Copacabana, Macmasters Beach, Bouddi, Green Point, Yattalunga, Kincumber, Kincumber South, Bensville, Saratoga, Davistown, Empire Bay, St Huberts Island, Daleys Point, Killcare, Killcare Heights, Hardys Bay, Pretty Beach and Wagstaffe, in which around 140,000 people reside.

NSW Health is aware of a COVID-19 positive case on the Central Coast, as well as a case from western Sydney who visited Avoca while infectious last weekend.

NSW Health continues to call on people in Sydney’s Upper North Shore to get tested if they have even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms, after traces of the virus were detected at a Hornsby Heights treatment plant on 19 December. Two recent COVID-19 cases in the area are linked to the Avalon cluster.

COVID-19 cases linked to the Avalon cluster have visited a growing list of locations across Sydney. A full list of locations and public transport routes, and the associated public health advice, is available from the NSW Government website.

NSW Health is treating 104 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases (98 per cent) are being treated in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.

Anyone in NSW with even the mildest symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat or runny nose, is asked to come forward immediately for testing, then isolate until they receive a negative result.

There are more than 320 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

  • If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away – don’t delay.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.
  • Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Wear a mask when using public transport, rideshares and taxis, and in shops, places of worship and other places where you can’t physically distance. When taking taxis or rideshares, commuters should also sit in the back.

Likely source of confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW

Likely source of infectionCases past 24 hours*Cases past 7 days**All cases
Interstate 0090
Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster 8981,535
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster01434
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing 033
Under initial investigation000

Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.

*notified from 8pm 21 December 2020 to 8pm 22 December 2020
**from 8pm 16 December 2020 to 8pm 22 December 2020

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date

Since 29 March 2020Count
Symptomatic travellers tested8,145
Found positive169
Since 30 June 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 260,652
Found positive370
Since 15 May 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1073,079
Found positive167