NSW has announced three new locally acquired coronavirus cases two days after a concerning surge in infections.
All three are in western Sydney and are currently under investigation. There is not yet any link to current clusters.
Two are from the same household and the other case is linked to them. They are all male, two aged in their 20s and one in their 40s.
The Avalon cluster in the Northern Beaches stands at 146 cases following the addition of two previous cases, and the Croydon cluster in Sydney’s inner-west remains at nine cases.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Friday despite the lower daily cases, the state must remains on “high alert” with the latest cases without a known source.
There were 32,000 tests processed in the previous 24 hours.
On Wednesday there were 18 local cases announced and on Thursday there were 10.
The state government is urging western Sydney residents from Greystanes, Auburn, Berala and Lidcombe with even the mildest of symptoms to get tested.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed the Croydon cluster and the two cases in Wollongong have now been linked genetically to the Avalon cluster.
Health authorities search for ‘critical’ link
Dr Chant said a case from Croydon and another case from Wollongong both attended the Swallowed Anchor restaurant in Wollongong on December 19.
She called for anyone at the restaurant on that date to immediately get tested and self-isolate.
“There may have been a person at that restaurant who unknowingly had COVID at that time who then had exposures or links to the Northern Beaches venues or site,” she said.
“It is critical we get to the bottom of this.”
With the Northern Beaches remaining under a stay at home order, there was hope for its 250,000 residents restrictions will ease imminently as the focus shifts to other Sydney regions.
'We would progressively expect the risk in the Northern Beaches to be rapidly declining', Dr Chant said.
Victoria cases visited southern NSW
Two cases from Victoria’s recent outbreak visited the NSW South Coast, prompting alerts for a restaurant and cafe.
The cases dined at the Great Southern Hotel in Eden on December 30, and also at Bermi’s Beachside Café in Bermagui, Dr Chant said.
Health authorities are now tracing those who were at the venues at the same time in a bid to prevent further spread in the state.
However the premier dismissed following in Victoria’s footsteps and closing the border.
“I don't think at this stage closing the border between New South Wales and Victoria is a good use of resources,” she said.
“I think we're better off asking the community to come forward to getting tested, cutting off those chains of transmission, making sure everybody has enough information about venues and about COVID safe activities.”
The two cases have been confirmed by Victorian health authorities, the ABC reported, taking the latest Victorian cluster from eight known cases to ten.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.