28 December 2020

NSW recorded five 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.

Four of the locally acquired cases are linked to the Avalon cluster. Investigations continue into the source of this cluster, which now numbers 126. The fifth local case is linked to a previously reported case on the Northern Beaches whose source of infection is not yet linked to the Avalon cluster and remains under investigation.

All five locally acquired cases reported today had previously been identified as contacts of known cases and were in isolation.

This brings the total number of cases in NSW to 4,683 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Sadly, a man in his 70s died earlier this week from respiratory complications following a COVID-19 infection diagnosed in March. He was a household contact of a locally acquired case. Although his death is considered to be related to COVID-19, he had recently tested negative, was no longer infectious and posed no risk to the community. NSW Health extends its sympathies to his family.

There were 15,364 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 23,933.

Confirmed cases (including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities) 4,683
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases) 56
Total tests carried out 4,026,079

Of the new cases to 8pm last night:

  • Five cases are locally acquired from a known cluster or case. Of these
    • Four are linked to the Avalon cluster
    • One is a household contact of a previously reported case on the Northern Beaches, whose source of infection is not yet linked to the Avalon cluster and remains under investigation
  • Nine cases were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine.

NSW Health is treating 114 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 a number of returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.

NSW Health thanks the community for their excellent response to the call for testing, and for following public health advice. Every person who is tested plays an important role in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, testing numbers have fallen in the post-Christmas period, and it is vital that people throughout NSW continue to come forward immediately if they have even the mildest of symptoms.

NSW Health also thanks the many people currently self-isolating, which we appreciate is difficult. If you are a close contact of a case, it is critical you complete your full period of isolation, even if you receive a negative test result. It is also vital that you receive a negative test result before leaving isolation. People can continuemto test positive for COVID-19 up to 14 days after exposure, as we have seen in some cases in isolation in recent days.

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 at Latest news and updates.

We must all keep up our guard against COVID-19 over the holiday period by limiting social interactions wherever possible 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 slightest symptoms, stay home and don’t go to the event.

With a number of cases now linked to the Belrose Hotel, NSW Health is calling on anyone who spent time there at any time during December and had any symptoms that could signal COVID-19 to come forward and get tested, then isolate until a negative result is received.

A number of cases were recently linked to the CBD of Sydney, and it is important for people who spent time in the north eastern part of the city over the last two weeks, including the Australia Square, MLC Centre and Chifley Square, to be alert for symptoms and isolate immediately and get tested should even the mildest of symptoms develop, then isolate until a negative result is received.

Testing clinics will remain open over the holiday period, including today and heading into New Year's Day. There are more than 350 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 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 9422,584
Interstate 0090
Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster 5451,566
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster00434
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing 069
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 25 December 2020 to 8pm 26 December 2020
**from 8pm 20 December 2020 to 8pm 26 December 2020

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date

Since 29 March 2020Count
Symptomatic travellers tested 8,255
Found positive 172
Since 30 June 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 2 62,168
Found positive384
Since 15 May 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1074,649
Found positive173

Today's press conference will be uploaded to Press conferences once available.