31 December 2020

NSW recorded 10 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with an additional seven cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW to 4,734 since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 27,894 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 17,267. NSW Health thanks the community for coming forward and urges people to continue to do so in the days ahead.

CasesCount
Confirmed cases (including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities) 4,734
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases) 56
Total tests carried out 4,087,569

Of the 17 new cases to 8pm last night:

  • Five locally acquired cases are linked to the Avalon cluster and are close contacts of previous cases. This cluster now numbers 144.
  • Three locally acquired cases are linked to the Inner West cluster, the source of which is still under investigation. These cases were close contacts of cases reported yesterday and there are now nine cases in this cluster.
  • One locally acquired case is a close contact of one of the two patient transport drivers reported previously.
  • One further case, from western Sydney, is under investigation.
  • Seven cases were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine.

The five cases linked to the Avalon cluster today include two cases who are close contacts of a person from northern Sydney, who was reported yesterday and is now linked to this cluster, along with his two close contacts reported today. The case from northern Sydney was at Pittwater Place in Mona Vale for work purposes between 13 and 19 December. Investigations continue into the source of the Avalon cluster.

A full list of venues and public transport routes of concern throughout NSW, and the associated public health advice, is available from the NSW Government website at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates. We urge people to check this list before they attend any gatherings or social events.

New restrictions are in place for New Year’s Eve. For Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) household gatherings are limited to 5 visitors (including children). The limit for outdoor gatherings has been reduced from 50 to 30.

Restrictions for the northern zone of the Northern Beaches remain the same but for the southern zone of the Northern Beaches household gatherings are limited to 5 visitors from within your zone (including children). People are encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings over the New Year period where possible to further minimise the risk of transmission in the community.

Additional enhanced measures now in place to help contain spread, include:

  • All close contacts of a case should have a COVID-19 test when they are first identified as a close contact, regardless of symptoms, again if they get any symptoms, and again just before the end of their 14-day isolation period (at day 12).
  • Household contacts of people identified as close contacts of a case should isolate until the close contact receives a negative test and is effectively isolating from the rest of the household. 

The advice for aged care facilities has been updated. All residential aged care facilities in the Greater Sydney area (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) must exclude visitors, except those performing essential caring functions, until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021. For the same period, no visitors from Greater Sydney are permitted to visit residents in regional residential aged care facilities. There are no restrictions on people from regional NSW visiting residents in regional facilities.

The state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID 19 at the sewage plant that services the Hornsby Heights area, taking in the suburbs of Berowra, Cowan, Berowra Heights, Hornsby Heights, Mount Colah, Mount Kuring-Gai, Asquith and Hornsby. NSW Health is aware of recent cases in this area, but is concerned that there may be undetected cases. Everyone in the area is asked to be alert for symptoms and to get tested immediately if they appear.

Testing clinics are open throughout the holiday break, including 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 https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.

NSW Health is treating 121 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.

Likely source of confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW

Likely source of infectionCases past 24 hours*Cases past 7 days**All cases
Overseas 7412,604
Interstate 0090
Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster 9511,596
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster00434
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing 1610
Under initial investigation000
Total17984,734

Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.
*notified from 8pm 29 December 2020 to 8pm 30 December 2020
**from 8pm 24 December 2020 to 8pm 30  December 2020

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date

Since 29 March 2020Count
Symptomatic travellers tested 8,344
Found positive 176
Since 30 June 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 2 63,074
Found positive395
Since 15 May 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1075,566
Found positive175

Today's press conference will be uploaded to the Press conferences page once avaliable.

Current as at: Thursday 31 December 2020