News State NSW News NSW records four local coronavirus cases, source of one infection under investigation

NSW records four local coronavirus cases, source of one infection under investigation

NSW recorded 32,667 COVID-19 tests yesterday. Photo: AAP
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NSW health authorities have banned more Western Sydney suburbs from attending the SCG Test as it hunts for the source of a mystery COVID-19 infection.

Acting Premier John Barilaro this morning confirmed four locally acquired COVID-19 infections.

One of the cases, reported yesterday, was an 18-year-old man who travelled through several locations in western NSW, including Broken Hill and Orange.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said his travelling companions were all tested, have returned negative results and will remain in isolation for 14 days.

Another infection is a man in his 20s and is a household contact of a case linked to the Avalon cluster, now at 149, in Sydney’s northern beaches.

The third locally acquired case is a Belmore man who is a household contact of a previously reported case with Dr Chant saying it was “likely” linked to the Berala cluster, now at 16 cases.

The fourth, which Dr Chant said was the “greatest concern” to her, was a Wentworthville man in his 30s whose source is under investigation.

“We don’t know where the person acquired it from… the unlinked cases causes us the greatest concern,” Dr Chant said, adding the Belmore case had also worked in a “broad geographical area”.

The new cases have resulted in both Belmore and Wentworthville being added to the list of suburbs whose residents are banned from attending tomorrow’s SCG Test.

They join Berala, Auburn, Lidcombe North, Regents Park, Potts Hill and Rookwood as suburbs where living or working there could see people slapped with a $1,000 fine for attending the Test.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard again defended the State Government’s decision to go ahead with the Test and argued it was a mental health issue.

However, a phone call he had with his Victorian counterpart, Martin Foley, after the MCG was listed as a potential exposure site was “influencing [NSW] thinking” about the Test.

The chief executive of Sydney Trains, Howard Collins, reinforced COVID-safe protocols around the SCG, where 10,000 people were expected to attend.

“We’ve got extra parking and we’ve advised people — though, it hurts me to say this — you can drive with a designated driver, it’s important you use that method,” Mr Collins said.

An additional 450 extra bus and light rail services will be made available on the day, but Mr Collins asked the public to arrive as early as possible.

Mr Collins said public transport officials will not be enforcing mandatory masks, but NSW Police will.

Mr Hazzard said there may be people who attended the MCG on December 27, specifically people who were in the southern stand, who shouldn’t go to the SCG tomorrow.

“The message to anyone who may be going — or intending to attend the Test here — in Sydney, who was in that location on that day, you must not come to the Test,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Be with us on this journey. If you love cricket, you really love cricket, on this occasion, we can’t afford to love it and end up with COVID.

“Don’t go and don’t spread it.”

There were 32,667 tests completed yesterday, up from 26,391 in the previous reporting period.