NSW recorded 18 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 4,717 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nine of today’s locally acquired cases are linked to the Avalon cluster. They had all been previously identified as contacts of known cases. Investigations continue into the source of the Avalon cluster, which now numbers 138.
There were 17,267 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 16,329.
|Confirmed cases (including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities)||4,717|
|Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases)||56|
|Total tests carried out||4,059,675|
Of the 25 new cases to 8pm last night:
- Nine locally acquired cases are linked to the Avalon cluster. Eight of these cases were isolating for their full infectious period.
- Six locally acquired cases, three adults and three children, all members of the same extended family, are linked to a cluster in Sydney’s Inner West whose source is still under investigation. One of these cases was first reported yesterday morning.
- Three further locally acquired cases are under investigation. Two cases, members of the same household, are from the Wollongong area and one is from northern Sydney. One of the cases from Wollongong and the northern Sydney case were first reported yesterday morning.
- Seven cases were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine.
Further genome sequencing of the virus of a patient transport worker reported on 22 December shows it is identical to the virus strain from a family of three who had been transported from the airport to hotel quarantine under this worker’s care.
The sequence is also identical to that of another patient transport worker, who did not have contact with the family of three but who was a close contact with the first worker. The virus sequence for these two workers is different to that seen in the Avalon cluster.
With two locally acquired cases now linked to the Wollongong area, it is important for people who spent time in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region over the past two weeks to be alert for symptoms, and isolate immediately and get tested should any symptoms develop, no matter how mild.
Anyone who attended the St Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church from 9am to 10.15am and the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church from 10.30am to 11am on Sunday 27 December in Wollongong must get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive further advice from NSW Health.
A new pop-up drive-through testing clinic opened at the Figtree Community Hall this morning, at 11 Princes Highway, Figtree. It will be open from 8am to 8pm every day until further notice.
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 Latest news and updates.
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 wider Liverpool area. NSW Health is aware of recent cases in this area, but is concerned that there may be undetected cases. Everyone in the south-west Sydney area is asked to be alert for symptoms and to get tested immediately if they appear.
We must all keep up our guard against COVID-19 throughout 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 at home and don’t go to the event.
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 COVID-19 clinics or contact your GP.
NSW Health is treating 117 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 infection||Cases past 24 hours*||Cases past 7 days**||All cases|
|Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster||15||51||1,585|
|Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster||0||0||434|
|Locally acquired – investigation ongoing||3||8||11|
|Under initial investigation||0||0||0|
Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.
*notified from 8pm 28 December 2020 to 8pm 29 December 2020
**from 8pm 23 December 2020 to 8pm 29 December 2020
Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date
|Since 29 March 2020||Count|
|Symptomatic travellers tested||8,308|
|Since 30 June 2020||Count|
|Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 2||62,768|
|Since 15 May 2020||Count|
|Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 10||75,291|
Today’s press conference will be uploaded to the Press conferences page once avaliable.