A man runs next to an empty Bondi Beach. Picture: Steven Saphore
A man runs next to an empty Bondi Beach. Picture: Steven Saphore

State’s worst virus cluster spots named

Health authorities have singled out where New South Wales' worst coronavirus clusters are, asking regions to up their testing..

In a press conference this morning, NSW Health executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty said testing would be increased in regions where there had been signs of community transmission.

"We want to encourage increased testing in those communities where we have seen even a few local cases of transmission. So we are extending testing and encouraging patients who have got symptoms...of acute respiratory infection, a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fever," he said.

 

Dr McAnulty said authorities were increasing testing in areas where they've seen "some evidence of local transmission".

Those areas include: Broken Hill, Lake Macquarie, Manning, Waverley, Woollahra, Ryde, Macquarie Park, Dee Why, Manly, Nowra and South Nowra, Byron and Port Macquarie.

An empty Bondi Beach. The popular Sydney beach is part of Waverley’s local government area and has some of the state’s highest coronavirus cases.
An empty Bondi Beach. The popular Sydney beach is part of Waverley’s local government area and has some of the state’s highest coronavirus cases.

 

NSW reported 57 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the state's total to 2,637.

Dr McAnulty said the number was "pleasing to see" however it did also relate to fewer tests done over the weekend.

Close to 1,000 of the state's coronavirus cases were also locally acquired, Dr McAnulty said, with 595 locally acquired from a confirmed or known case or cluster and 397 cases locally acquired from an unknown contact.

"As an added precaution we want to make sure we have access to testing those areas where there may be some local transmission so we can find people early and make sure they are in isolation and cared for and make sure that their contacts, who may be also at risk of getting infected, are aware and also placed in isolation to avoid any ongoing transmission," Dr McAnulty said.

Despite the state being Australia's worst hit by coronavirus, Dr McAnulty said "the numbers we are seeing in the last few days have been really hopeful".

NSW Health executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty
NSW Health executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty

 

Community transmission is what worries health authorities the most.

Over the weekend, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said officials were still unsure of where 10 per cent of Australia's coronavirus cases had come from.

He urged the public to practise safe social distancing due to concerns about COVID-19 cases deriving from unknown sources.

Prof Murphy said there were now 5687 cases across the country with a rise of 139 over the last 24 hours.

"I may sound like a broken record at times but community transmission is what worries me most of all," he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

"Those are the reasons we have brought in the social distancing measures and all of those measures to stop the spread."

 

Originally published as State's worst virus cluster spots named



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