Six-year-old diagnosed with coronavirus in NSW

A six-year-old has become the youngest to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in NSW.

The number of coronavirus cases in NSW has jumped above 300, with close to 50 cases believed to be locally transmitted.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters on Thursday there were 307 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, up from 267 on Wednesday.

She said a 12-year-old and two people in year 10 were among those diagnosed.

NSW Health confirmed a six-year-old had too been infected.

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Dr Chant said of the 307 cases in the state almost 130 were acquired overseas, including returnees from virus-hit areas in Europe, the UK and the US.

Some 70 cases remain under investigation.

Dr Chant said the initial precautionary approach of hospitalising all confirmed COVID-19 cases had been abandoned as cases rise.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant provides an update on COVID-19 during a press conference at NSW State Parliament in Sydney, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed the number of coronavirus cases in the state has surpassed 300. Source: AAP

"It's reassuring that many of our cases continue to be mild with currently six patients in intensive care units. Many of our patients are being managed in the community and being managed at home and we are only admitting patients now that require hospital care," Dr Chant said.

"We are following up and we are working in a whole-of-government way to ensure that people are doing the right thing."

‘No rationale’ for closing schools

Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked residents for abiding by new rules including social distancing and the limitation of outdoor gatherings to fewer than 500 people and indoor fewer than 100.

She said police, health, transport and education were meeting to integrate responses to coronavirus.

"What you see here is the complete integration of police, health, education, transport, and many other government agencies working together to provide safety to our citizens, but also important information in a timely way," Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Thursday.

"All of our experts in this room are coordinating a whole-of-government response (and) will have that data information at their fingertips."

A nurse stands at a door with a mask on and speaks to patients at a coronavirus clinic in Adelaide.
A nurse speaks with patients at the door of the new Covid-19 Clinic in Adelaide. Source: AAP

NSW schools will remain open but there'll be no assemblies, with strict bans on sick students and teachers. Regular hand washing will be enforced.

Ms Berejiklian says there's "no rationale" for closing schools, with health experts advising they should remain open.

Splendour in the Grass, Groovin the Moo and the Sydney Film Festival are among events cancelled or postponed this week.

Universities are suspending face-to-face classes and businesses are urging staff to avoid the office. A number of church and mosque services have also been suspended.

NSW Police, meanwhile, is halting major roadside drug and alcohol testing operations over hygiene concerns.

With AAP

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