News Coronavirus Sydney train passengers and Centrelink clients told to get tested after western suburbs outbreak

Sydney train passengers and Centrelink clients told to get tested after western suburbs outbreak

Testing stations haven't been drawing the numbers NSW health officials want to see. Photo: Getty
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New public health alerts are in effect for western Sydney after six fresh cases of COVID-19 infections have been confirmed.

The warning potentially affects thousands who travelled by train between Warwick Farm and Auburn on January 14 and 15.

Anyone who attended Centrelink in Auburn on January 14 in the afternoon should get tested immediately and self-isolate, public health officials said.

The spate of new infections comes after days without a locally transmitted infection.

Alerts have also been issued for these locations:

  • Wentworthville medical and dental clinic at 122 to 128 Station Street, Wentworthville in the dental, physio and imaging waiting room on Friday, January 15 between 11:30am and 1:15pm
  • Auburn Centrelink at 5-9 Macquarie Road, Auburn, on Thursday, January 14 between 3:00pm and 4:15pm

A case of COVID-19 infection was reported on Saturday in a western Sydney man believed to be linked to the Berala bottle shop cluster.

Another of the cases worked at Concord Repatriation General Hospital in the cardiology and radiology wards whilst potentially infectious on January 12, 13 and 14.

“Anyone who was in other areas of the clinic at that time should monitor for symptoms and immediately isolate and get tested if they appear,” NSW Health said on Saturday afternoon.

Testing shortfall

Just 14,547 tests in NSW were reported to 8pm on Friday – down on the previous day’s total of 16,070.

NSW has flagged the possibility of loosening restrictions on Greater Sydney next week but one of the conditions is high testing rates.

The testing rates are “not where we would like them to be”, Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Friday.

Chief Health officer Kerry Chant said there had been a worrying decline in testing levels.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant is worried that testing numbers have tailed off. Photo: AAP

“It is critical that we get those testing rates up very high so that we can detect these unrecognised chains of transmission,” she said, hailing those got tested as “true heroes” for coming forward.

Meanwhile, Victoria is also watching Sydney closely, as it considers moving parts of the city from “red” to “orange” in its traffic-light permit system.

Travellers from orange zones still need to self-quarantine for 14 days but don’t need to apply for an exemption to enter Victoria.

“There are clearly some local government areas within Greater Sydney that have now gone a number of days of cases without transmission,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said in Melbourne.

“I will look very intensively at the epidemiology across Greater Sydney over the next couple of days.”

– with AAP