The number of mystery coronavirus cases in NSW continues to grow, with another added to the tally on Friday.
NSW confirmed 11 more COVID infections on Friday, including one in a woman in her 60s from south-western Sydney that is yet to be linked to any of the state’s known outbreaks.
Of even more concern is Newcastle, which has been declared a coronavirus hotspot after three confirmed cases this week.
They are a man in his 20s, a teenager who is a close contact and another infection confirmed on Friday – and the origin of their infections has so far been unable to be traced.
On Friday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian pleaded with young adults to rein in their social lives after the man in the cluster went to a football match and visited six Newcastle pubs over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the teenager’s diagnosis has shut down his high school and sent two football teams into self-isolation.
“We are on a knife-edge and we are about halfway through what is a really critical period,” Ms Berejiklian told Triple M radio on Thursday.
“To the young people, try to modify the number of places that you go to.”
NSW’s numbers are much smaller than in Victoria – which had 450 more cases on Friday, and 11 more fatalities.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the fatalities were a woman in her 50s, two men in their 70s, three men and three women in their 80s and a woman in her 90s. Victoria’s toll from the pandemic has risen to 181, while the national toll is 266.
Friday’s figures were well short of the record 725 and 15 deaths Victoria reported on Wednesday. The state has more than 7600 active virus infections
By contrast, NSW has only 109 active COVID-19 cases, including 10 patients in intensive care.
But the NSW clusters remain of concern because they continue to spread across the state, affecting an ever-increasing number of venues.
The Newcastle man in his 20s confirmed with COVID attended several venues between Friday and Sunday, including Bennett Hotel in Hamilton, Sydney Junction Hotel in Hamilton and the Wests New Lambton club.
He also visited the Greenroof Bar and Restaurant in Hamilton, the Queens Wharf Hotel and Sushi Revolution in Hamilton, and was among 2570 spectators at the Newcastle Jets-Western United match on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium.
- See a full list of NSW venues of concern here
They are on top of more venues added to the list after NSW reported 12 new virus infections on Thursday. Among them were two more Sydney men in their 20s who were also out and about at a host of venues while potentially infectious.
One dined the Jambo Jambo African restaurant in Glebe on July 31 from 7-8.30pm.
He also visited several other inner-Sydney venues between Friday and Sunday but patrons at these places are classified as casual contacts.
The other man visitedPenrith Plaza, Master Hot Pot in Canley Vale and BBQ City Buffet in Bankstown on August 1. Anyone who was at those venues – including potentially hundreds of shoppers at the Westfield centre in Penrith between 10.30am and midday – should be alert for symptoms.
The man is a close contact of a previously reported case associated with the Mounties club cluster.
Elsewhere, Queensland had no new coronavirus cases to report on Friday. Chief health officer Jeannette Young said that was “a fantastic result” after an outbreak of five infections sparked by three women who travelled to Melbourne.
“We can start to think that we might be able to relax at the start of next week if we have another two days of no new community-acquired cases,” she said.
Queensland will shut its borders to visitors from NSW and ACT visitors from 1am on Saturday.