Covid NSW: Sydney cluster grows again as restrictions reinstated

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·News Reporter
·3-min read
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NSW has recorded 30 new cases of coronavirus on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Sunday, 28 are linked to the Avalon cluster while the other two are people who live on the Northern Beaches.

“So while the numbers are higher today than yesterday, the one positive is we still have not seen evidence of massive seeding outside the Northern Beaches community and our aim, of course, is to keep that in place,” she said.

Two people wearing face masks on George Street in the Sydney CBD.
People walk through Sydney's CBD on Saturday. Source: Getty Images

“We had more than 28,000 tests over the weekend in the last 24 hours and that is positive.

“The more testing we have the more confidence we have that we are able to identify where the [disease is] spreading.”

Ms Berejiklian also reintroduced a limit on household gatherings for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, reverting back to the four-square-metre rule.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian provides a Covid-19 update at St Leonards, Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a number of returning Covid restrictions. Source: AAP

Chief Health Officer shoots down Covid theory

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has quashed theories that the cluster was caused by a “wealthy” couple living on the Northern Beaches.

“What we know is that this sequence from this strain that is associated with this cluster is most closely linked to a returned traveller from overseas who arrived in country on December 1,” Dr Chant said.

“There is no one else we have identified that could be the source.

“At the moment we are forensically looking at all of the journeys of that individual to see if there were any points associated with it.

“I think I said at my press conference yesterday that we have been testing be in the vicinity of that person in terms of cleaners or anyone that might have cleaned a room after the person left. The upmost precaution to just check whether they could have been the source.”

A woman is tested at a Covid-19 pop-up testing site at Pittwater Park, known to locals as Rat Park.
A woman receives a Covid test at Pittwater Park. Source: Getty Images

‘Don’t play the blame game’

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has urged people not to point the finger at Northern Beaches residents over the growing cluster.

“There is absolutely no evidence to indicate that any person deliberately, knowing they had the virus, came into the Northern Beaches and, of course, that is really disappointing, because people need to understand that it could be any one of us who has the virus,” he said.

“But if we take the necessary measures that we are advising that hopefully we will all stay safe.

“I would say to my fellow Northern Beaches residents, don't play the blame game, just listen to the orders that have been issued and please stick with those orders.”

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard provides a COVID-19 update at RFS Headquarters.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he doesn't want people turning on each other over the Northern Beaches cluster. Source: AAP (file pic)

On Saturday afternoon, the Northern Beaches was placed under lockdown with residents told they could only leave the house for essential reasons such as for work.

Mr Hazzard’s plea comes after he identified the drummer of the band Nothing Too Serious as having Covid-19.

The band has since copped online abuse with people blaming them for “ruining Christmas”.

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