'Get tested now': New coronavirus hotspots identified

People are being warned to get tested after new coronavirus hotspots were revealed in NSW on Monday.

NSW Health acting director Dr Christine Selvey said the new areas of concern were identified after she met with staff from all local health districts on Sunday.

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“These are areas where there have been few cases with people where we are unable to find out where they got their infection from, and some other areas where we are concerned that if the spread of the virus was occurring, we would certainly want to know about that everywhere,” she said.

Medical professionals administer COVID-19 tests at the Bondi Beach drive-through COVID-19 testing centre.
NSW Health's acting director has warned of new coronavirus hotspots in the state. Source: Getty

“In order to be sure that we are not having widespread community transmission in these areas, we are asking that everyone in these areas if they have even very mild symptoms to present to their GP, or to one of the COVID-19 clinics or go to hospital to seek testing.”

Dr Selvey added they were putting an emphasis on testing in the new hotspots because they wanted to make sure that if community transmission was happening they were able to establish that and determine coronavirus cases early so their contacts can be traced and the spread of the virus can be interrupted.

New coronavirus hotspots in NSW

  • Penrith

  • Liverpool

  • Blacktown

  • Cumberland

  • Westmead

NSW hotspots still of concern

  • Waverley

  • Woollahra

  • Inner West Sydney

  • Ryde

  • Randwick

  • Manning

  • Lake Macquarie

Pictured is a map of NSW showing areas with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases.
A map shows where there are the highest number of coronavirus cases in NSW. Source: NSW Health

Two more deaths in NSW overnight

Two more people have died from coronavirus in NSW, taking the state's COVID-19 death toll to 26.

A 74-year-old woman died at John Hunter Hospital and a 76-year-old man died in the Northern Beaches Hospital, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Monday.

Both deaths were linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship which allowed passengers to disembark in Circular Quay last month despite concerns many onboard were showing flu-like symptoms and test results for COVID-19 still pending.

NSW recorded nine new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the state's total to 2863. More than 2600 people were tested in the past 24 hours.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney about the coronavirus.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed two more deaths in NSW overnight. Source: AAP

"The fact we had nine new cases clearly indicates we are moving in the right direction, but we still have a lot more to do," Mr Hazzard told reporters.

"No one should think we can slack off in the efforts we are trying to undertake at the moment."

Access to medicines to be made easier

Meanwhile, doctors will soon be able to prescribe via email or fax, making it easier for patients to access medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GPs and nurse practitioners will be able to send a digital image of the prescription to pharmacists from April 17 under changes announced by the state government on Sunday.

Mr Hazzard said the changes would make it easier and safer to access medications, particularly for those with chronic conditions.

"It ensures people with compromised immune systems will not need to go to the doctor's surgery in person and can get their script entirely through a telehealth appointment," Mr Hazzard said in a statement on Sunday.

All hospitals had been asked on Saturday night to "broaden the testing" to include anyone who presented with a temperature or respiratory issues, he said.

Police have issued more than 200 fines against people over the Easter long weekend for breaching the state's COVID-19 restrictions.

With AAP

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