NSW Records Four New Locally Acquired COVID-19 Cases

By AAP
January 5, 2021 Updated: January 5, 2021

NSW has recorded four new locally acquired coronavirus cases.

One, a man in his 30s from western Sydney, is still under investigation.

“He has no direct links to the Berala BWS or the Berala cluster and so we are being very cautious about finding any of those missing chains of transmission,” NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said on January 6.

Two cases are linked to the Berala cluster, which now tallies 16, and one is a household contact of a previously reported case in the Avalon cluster.

One of the Berala cases is the 18-year-old whose summer camping trip has resulted in several regional NSW communities being put high alert after he tested positive on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old had visited the Berala BWS bottle shop in western Sydney on Christmas Eve.

He then travelled with friends to the regional NSW towns of Orange, Nyngan and Broken Hill.

Orange’s Birdie Noshery and Nyngan’s Riverside Tourist Park are now subject to health alerts, with more venues expected to be added to the list.

Acting Premier John Barilaro reiterated on Wednesday the northern zone of the northern beaches would stay in lockdown until Saturday, as planned.

“We’ll continue to keep restrictions in place as previously flagged, as much as I understand it hurts,” he said.

The Berala cluster is the focus of an urgent investigation, with authorities unsure how a woman who visited the Woolworths next door, but not the BWS, picked up the virus.

The possibility of virus transmission at the Woolworths store means anyone who went there between December 20 and 31 needs to get tested.

And people who visited the BWS over the festive period are being asked to isolate for 14 days.

Authorities on Tuesday night also issued alerts for a number of venues in Sydney’s west including Merrylands RSL, an Indian restaurant in Parramatta on December 28 and the Sydney Murugan Temple at Mays Hill on New Year’s Day.

Alerts were also issued for a social cricket match at Ollie Webb Cricket Ground in Parramatta on December 28 and a Pendle Hill seafood shop on January 3.

Residents from Berala and surrounding suburbs, meanwhile, will be banned from attending the upcoming Australia-India cricket Test at the SCG.

Meanwhile, a 43-year-old man has been charged after attempting to leave hotel quarantine in Sydney.

He had returned from Los Angeles on December 23 and refused testing during his initial fortnight of quarantine, so authorities made him stay for another ten days.

Police allege the man challenged police in the hallway of the Elizabeth St hotel and questioned police powers.

Officers had to physically escort him back to his room.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard, meanwhile, is angry after a Sydney private testing clinic charged a child’s family $120 for a COVID-19 test because they did not have a Medicare card.

He reiterated all COVID-19 tests are free in NSW.

“I want discussions with the facility doing the testing to make it very clear they do not charge,” Hazzard told Sydney radio 2GB.

“I’m so angry about it at the moment and if they don’t get it fixed, I’ll be naming the particular laboratory.”

Sydney