24 December 2020

NSW recorded nine locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with an additional nine 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 104. The source of the other two locally acquired cases remains under investigation.

The total number of cases in NSW is now 4,634 since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were a record 60,184 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 41,865.

This is an outstanding effort from the community, and we strongly urge people to keep coming forward for testing. Testing clinics will remain open over the holidays, including Christmas Day.

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

Confirmed cases (incl. interstate residents in NSW health care facilities) 4,634
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases) 55
Total tests carried out 3,877,840

Of the 18 new cases to 8pm last night:

  • Nine cases are locally acquired, and of these
    • Seven cases are linked to the Avalon cluster
    • The source of two cases is under investigation
  • Nine cases were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health is treating 109 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases (99 per cent) are being treated in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.

One of the cases reported today attended the Paragon Hotel Sports Bar near Circular Quay in Loftus Street, Sydney, between 12.45pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 16 December.

A second person identified this morning, and who will appear in tomorrow’s numbers, also attended the Paragon Hotel Sports Bar at the same time. Two new cases have now been identified at this venue, which now has three cases associated with it.

Patrons who were in the Sports Bar from 12.45pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday 16 December for more than one hour and are considered a close contact and must get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of their result.

Anyone who was there for less than one hour needs to get tested immediately and self-isolate pending a negative result.

People who attended other areas of the Paragon Hotel during this time should monitor for symptoms and isolate and get tested immediately if symptoms appear. These people should have a very low threshold for testing.

Another of today’s new cases under investigation is an office worker in the vicinity of Hunter and Bligh Streets in Sydney’s CBD.

Anyone who has been in the north eastern part of the city, including the Australia Square, MLC Centre and Chifley Square, should be alert for symptoms and isolate immediately and get tested should even the mildest of symptoms develop.

Anyone who attended the pool deck area of Bondi Icebergs on Sunday 20 December between 8am and 9:30am and/or Monday 21 December between 7am and 8am are asked to get tested immediately and self-isolate. NSW Health will contact these people today to provide further information and advice.

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.

It’s vital that people keep up their guard against COVID-19 over the holiday period, by limiting social interactions where feasible and following recommended infection control practices, including physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Don’t risk passing on COVID-19 for the sake of one social gathering. If you are feeling at all unwell, or have even the mildest symptoms, stay home and don’t go to the event.

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.

Likely source of confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW

Likely source of infectionCases past 24 hours*Cases past 7 days**All cases
Overseas 9492,563
Interstate 0090
Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster 71031,542
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster00434
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing 255
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 22 December 2020 to 8pm 23 December 2020
**from 8pm 17 December 2020 to 8pm 23 December 2020

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date

Since 29 March 2020 Count
Symptomatic travellers tested 8,169
Found positive 170
Since 30 June 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 2 60,946
Found positive373
Since 15 May 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1073,413
Found positive168

Today's press conference will be uplaoded to our website.