NSW has extended its run of no new locally acquired COVID‑19 cases to 12 days – but confirmed three Sydney infections that are set to bring it to an end.
Reports of the new cases – in the Campbelltown, Parramatta and Wollondilly local government areas – came after the 8pm Tuesday cut-off for NSW Health’s Wednesday data.
NSW Health said all three were under urgent investigation. They will be included in Thursday’s official figures.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new infections – none of which are linked – were concerning.
“Overnight, we’ve had three cases of community transmission. None of those cases are related to each other. Two are from south-western Sydney and one is from western Sydney,” she said on Wednesday.
“I want everybody in NSW to continue to be vigilant and to continue to be on high alert.”
“Our suspicions that the virus is always lurking in the community are founded. And we wouldn’t have said that if we didn’t mean it.”
The positive tests are also a setback for hopes that Queensland might soon open its border to NSW residents.
Earlier on Wednesday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed even a single locally acquired case in NSW would reset the clock on the Sunshine State’s requirements for 28 days without community transmission.
Ms Berejiklian, who has long criticised that policy, said again on Wednesday that it was unrealistic.
“We’re always going to have cases pop up because we’re in a pandemic,” she said.
“But we’re also in an economy, which is open, where people are undertaking their business, where we don’t have borders, but for Victoria. So, we really need to put that into perspective.”
She said it was unlikely NSW would ever reach 28 days without community transmission of the virus as long as the pandemic lasted.
“Queensland and Western Australia have the luxury of closing their borders so they have a higher chance of having zero community transmission cases. But in NSW – where we are hosting major events – we need the community to be vigilant, but we have to accept there is that element of risk,” she said.
NSW Health also confirmed three more confirmed infections in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine on Wednesday.
The state had 5970 coronavirus tests reported in the 24-hour period, up from 5385 in the previous 24 hours.
It has 54 COVID patients in hospital, including three in intensive care.