NSW has recorded a further 11 locally acquired coronavirus cases as the state grapples with a surge in infections in Sydney’s southwest.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the state was “on the verge” of a similar outbreak to when a Victorian truck driver triggered the Crossroads Hotel cluster at the start of July.
"I cannot stress enough that this is the most concerned we've been since that first incident when the Victorian citizen came up, infected his colleagues and went for a drink at a hotel," Ms Berejiklian said.
Nine of the new cases are linked to the Lakemba GP cluster, which now has 12 cases in total.
The other two cases are linked to the Liverpool private clinic cluster, which has grown to 10.
Both clusters’ sources are still unknown.
The state recorded 14 cases overall, three of which are in hotel quarantine. It is the highest number of locally acquired cases since September 2.
It follows seven locally acquired cases on Tuesday, while there have been 37 local cases since Thursday when a 12-day streak of no known community transmission was ended.
Regional town on high alert after case detected
A case in the town of Bargo, 90km southwest of Sydney’s CBD, has caused concern for health authorities, with the case reported after Tuesday’s 8pm cut-off point.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has urged the community to be on high alert and watch for symptoms while investigators determine the elderly man’s movements.
“As the premier said, we are in a critical phase,” she said.
‘Serious concerns’ over testing
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he had “serious concerns” regarding testing numbers.
He said the state now needs to test more than 20,000 people a day to control the current outbreak.
There were 16,021 processed in the previous 24 hours yet Mr Hazzard noted the Monday’s total of just over 7,000 was far too low.
He said he was making a “strong call” to anyone with symptoms to come forward and get tested.
Ms Berejiklian said plans to announce the easing more hospitality restrictions that would allow large group bookings were now put on hold.
“It's really important for us to make sure that we're not missing any of those chains of transmission that we're picking that up, so that in a week's time or a couple of weeks' time, we suddenly don't have 20 or 30 cases that pop up,” she said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.