NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, the first time it has done so since 15 December 2020.
Seven cases were recorded in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,776.
There were 22,275 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 18,923. NSW Health urges people – especially those in western, south-western Sydney and Wollongong – to continue to come forward with even the mildest of symptoms. Every person who gets tested plays an important role in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Of the seven new cases to 8pm last night:
NSW Health expects more cases to emerge from the Berala cluster, given the large number of people who attended the BWS at Berala over an 11-day period. Woolworths in Berala is also a venue of concern.
Additional periods of potential infectious exposure at these venues have recently been added, and people are urged to keep checking the NSW Government website for new information as it emerges.
Genomic sequencing results for the Berala cluster are the same as for a patient transport worker who unknowingly visited the BWS store while infectious before Christmas.
This infection was first passed from a family of returned travellers with COVID-19 to a patient transport worker. This worker then passed it to a colleague, who attended the BWS at Berala for a short amount of time on 20 December – highlighting the fact that COVID can be transmitted by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people during very short exposure windows.
People who attended BWS or Woolworths in the Berala shopping centre on Sunday 20 December between 12.30pm and 2pm are being urged to get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is received.
It is critical that anyone who attended the BWS store between 22 December and 31 December, for even a few minutes during the times listed on the NSW Government website, gets tested and isolates for 14 days, regardless of the result received.
Anyone who attended Woolworths in the Berala shopping centre on 24 December (9pm to 9.30pm), 26 December (7pm to 7.30pm), 28 December (7.15pm to 7.45pm) and 31 December (10:00 am to 12 noon) is asked to test immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is received and then monitor for symptoms and if they occur to get tested immediately again and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.
The state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 at treatment plants in Liverpool and Glenfield. Everyone in these areas is asked to be alert for symptoms, to get tested immediately if they appear and then isolate until they receive a negative result.
The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage may reflect the presence of known cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in recent weeks in the areas served by these sewage treatment plants. However, NSW Health is concerned there could be other active cases in the local community in people who have not been tested and who might incorrectly assume their symptoms are just a cold.
A number of testing clinics are open in western Sydney today, including the Merrylands Park drive-through clinic, Cnr Burnett Street and Merrylands Rd: 8am – 8pm.
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 testing clinics or contact your GP.
NSW Health is treating 115 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.
Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.
* notified from 8pm 2 January 2020 to 8pm 3 January 2021
** from 8pm 28 December 2020 to 8pm 3 January 2021
Today’s press conference will be uploaded here:https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/press-conferences.aspx