NSW Reports Six New locally acquired Covid-19 Cases

NSW Reports Six New locally acquired Covid-19 Cases
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a press conference on in Sydney, Australia Dec. 18, 2020. (Janie Barrett - Pool/Getty Images)

As NSW records six locally acquired cases of COVID-19 Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging Victoria to reopen its border with the state.

Five of the six cases were household contacts of the western Sydney man reported on January 16 while investigations continue into the source of his infection.

NSW Health believes it is likely to be linked to the Berala bottle shop cluster.

The sixth case is a Concord Repatriation General Hospital staff member who worked in cardiology and radiology wards and may have been infectious on January 12, 13, and 14.

The person wore a face mask during each shift and had minimal contact with patients.

The new cases come after days without a locally transmitted infection.

On Sunday Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews had not made contact about the state’s hard border and reiterated her misgivings about the controversial move.

“He’s not been in touch with me at all but I also say that should have occurred quite a while back because we don’t have a hot spot in NSW,” Berejiklian said.

“We are, of course, dealing with a result of an outbreak from a month ago, but I think everybody would agree that closing a border of such significance is a really big deal.”

“I stress that we waited until Victoria had in excess of - I think it was 180 cases they had the day after we announced the border closure.”

More than 12,700 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, a drop in the previous day’s numbers of more than 14,500.

NSW health authorities said low testing numbers remained a concern, while three additional cases were detected from overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

New public health alerts have also been issued for a western Sydney venue and additional public transport routes following confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Anyone who attended Centrelink in Auburn on January 14 in the afternoon should get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result occurs.

Those who travelled on train services between Warwick Farm and Auburn on January 14 and 15 have been given the same health directions.

All people who were in the dental, physio and imaging waiting room of the Wentworthville Medical and Dental Clinic between 11.30am and 1.15pm on Friday are now considered close contacts.

“(They) must immediately get tested and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the result,” NSW Health said on Saturday afternoon.

“Anyone who was in other areas of the clinic at that time should monitor for symptoms and immediately isolate and get tested if they appear.”

NSW has flagged the possibility of easing restrictions on Greater Sydney next week but one of the conditions is high testing rates.

Meanwhile, Victoria is watching Sydney closely, as it considers moving areas of the city from “red” to “orange” in its traffic-light permit system.

Travellers from orange zones still need to self-quarantine for 14 days but don’t need to apply for an exemption to enter Victoria.

“There are clearly some local government areas within Greater Sydney that have now gone a number of days of cases without transmission,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said in Melbourne.

“I will look very intensively at the epidemiology across Greater Sydney over the next couple of days.”

Greta Stonehouse in Sydney