It follows 18 local cases announced on Wednesday as infections soared thanks in part to the new Croydon cluster involving six family members in Sydney’s inner-west.
That cluster grew to nine cases on Thursday after three new cases were identified. The new cases are again members of the same family.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said it was “critical” Sydney residents were alert and aware of exposure sites listed on the NSW Health website as infected members of the family had been “out and about in broader Sydney”.
The source of the cluster remains under investigation.
There were also five new cases linked to the Avalon cluster which now sits at 144 cases.
One new case is linked to a transport worker previously identified and the final case is from western Sydney and is under investigation.
Two of the new Avalon cases are linked to a Northern Beaches case identified on Wednesday.
That infected person worked at Pittwater Place shopping centre between December 13 and 19, with NSW Health urging people who had visited the centre between those dates to get tested with the mildest of symptoms.
“We know there were a number of people that were infectious at times,” Dr Chant said.
Plea for no hugging at midnight
Health Minister Brad Hazzard asked for people to be “very cautious” and for anyone welcoming people into their homes on New Year’s Eve under the five-person restriction to avoid hugging and kissing.
There were nearly 28,000 tests in the previous 24-hour reporting period, however Dr Chant called for even higher testing rates.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the situation remains “volatile”.
"What is really important is for all of us to do everything we can to reduce our mobility, to reduce the number of people that we're mixing with and to make sure that we stick to the rules and the health advice,” she told reporters.
“None of us can afford to be complacent.”
Dozens of parks in and around Sydney Harbour have been closed while Green and Yellow Zones in the CBD and neighbouring suburbs have been set up to either prohibit or restrict visitors into the city.
South Australia to implement hard border with NSW
South Australia will impose a hard border closure with all of NSW in response to the spread of Covid-19 cases in Sydney.
Premier Steven Marshall says the closure will apply from Friday with only returning SA residents, people permanently relocating to SA and essential travellers exempt from the new rules.
Returning residents or people relocating will still need to quarantine for 14 days.
A 100-kilometre buffer zone will also be put in place on each side of the SA-NSW border to allow cross-border residents free movements across the state line.
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