'This is not over': Fears as NSW Covid clusters grow amid worrying detail

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

NSW has announced a further five locally acquired cases as lower testing rates prompt a rallying call to the state’s residents from Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“We really need to have higher testing levels if we are to combat the rumblings that are still going on,” she said after 14,700 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours.

Two of the cases were confirmed to the media on Monday and are linked to Mount Druitt Hospital. The source of the infections, both known to each other, remains unknown.

Two new cases are from the Northern Beaches and are under investigation while one is linked to the Berala cluster, which now stands at 27 cases.

Gladys Berejiklian says there will be exemptions to restrictions for Christmas events. Source: AAP
Gladys Berejiklian has warned the recent outbreaks are far from over. Source: AAP

“Please do not assume this outbreak is over in New South Wales,” Ms Berejiklian warned.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty said testing numbers were “way too low” and daily figures should be well in excess of 25,000.

Eleven cases were recorded in travellers in hotel quarantine.

New venues added to NSW exposure sites

It comes after more coronavirus-affected venues in western Sydney and the Northern Beaches were identified by authorities on Monday evening.

Anyone who attended the Blacktown Workers Sports Club’s Grange Buffet for more than one hour on Sunday between 12pm and 1.16pm, or for more than one hour on January 3 between 11.40am and 1.30pm is a close contact and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether a negative result is received.

Further alerts were issued for shoppers in Warriewood Square on the northern beaches for several dates and times between December 31 and January 8.

A pool shop in Brookvale, a Warriewood pharmacy, a post office in Hurlstone Park and a patisserie in Ashfield have also been added to the lengthy list of Sydney hotspots.

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Premier defends Covid response

Ms Berejiklian said she was “extremely confident” in her government’s response to the pandemic amid suggestion from other states NSW’s approach was too lax.

“I think we have the best Health contact tracing team in the nation and that confidence allows us to make decisions which don't place unnecessary burdens on our citizens,” she said.

“Let me be clear, we wouldn't hesitate to make decisions to keep the community safe if we felt we needed to do it.”

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