NSW coronavirus cases increase by five with four locally acquired cases
NSW has recorded its first mystery coronavirus infection in over two weeks, while a Sydney school has closed after two students tested positive.
- A mystery case is thought to be the source of three other infections confirmed today
- Among today’s confirmed coronavirus cases are two children from Sydney’s south-west
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called Queensland’s 28-day benchmark for reopening “unrealistic”
Health authorities in NSW today confirmed four new locally acquired coronavirus infections.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said three of today’s infections were household contacts of the mystery case in south-western Sydney.
Two of these new cases are students who attend the Hoxton Park campus of the Malek Fahd Islamic School, about 40 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD.
The school will be cleaned and closed for 14 days while contact tracing and investigations are underway.
In a statement, the school’s principal Bruce Rixon said staff and students at the school were in isolation following the coronavirus cases.
There was also one new case confirmed among a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
When asked about lifting border restrictions between Victoria and NSW, Ms Berejiklian reiterated a two-week observation period.
“What we need to see is evidence that once the so-called ‘ring of steel’ is open in Melbourne and once restrictions are eased, the impact of what those easing of restrictions means, that is really the critical decision-making process for NSW,” she said.
“It takes at least two weeks for us to see what that will do.”
But she said she was unable to commit to opening the border with Victoria by Christmas amid too many unknowns about what is to come.
Ms Berejiklian said she would be confident to “measure NSW against any place in the world” in terms of the state’s approach to the pandemic.
“Let’s not be afraid to be the world’s best at something, let’s not be afraid to do things differently to build that extra resilience in our system,” she said.
“That’s a lot to give up prematurely if we can’t get evidence that Victoria is in a safe enough position to be open to NSW.”
But she reinforced calls for other states to open their borders to NSW residents, commending her state for being the “only state that has such intense COVID-safe plans for business, for community events and for community gatherings” which dwindled the state’s numbers.
“We would have hoped that other states would have built their resilience during periods of borders being up or during lockdowns,” she said.
She said she found the Queensland Government’s benchmark for reopening the border — 28 days without a mystery coronavirus case — too high for NSW to meet.
“I don’t feel during the pandemic that we’re going to reach the target of 28 days without having all cases known,” she said.
“It might take [NSW] Health just a few hours to identify the source of the case, other times it takes days and weeks.
“I think the benchmark Queensland has set is unrealistic.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday accused the NSW Premier of diverting from her own state’s coronavirus issues.
“It’s disappointing to see the NSW Premier try to be political at this time when she has enough of her own issues to deal with,” she said.
“This is simply a diversion from what is happening with herself down in NSW.”
There were 14,230 people tested during the 24-hour period, on par with Tuesday’s total of 14,382 and a major increase from Monday’s total of just over 6,400 swabs done.
It comes as NSW Health issued a new COVID-19 alert, asking people who visited several locations in Sydney’s east and south-west to get tested after a positive case was traced.
People who were at Flip Out Prestons Indoor Trampoline Park in Prestons from 12:00pm–1:50pm and Jasmins Lebanese Restaurant in Liverpool from 2:00pm-3:00pm on October 25 should seek testing immediately.
Those at Westfield Bondi Junction, Watsup Brothers Kebab Shop in Condell Park, Ali Baba Charcoal Chicken in Auburn and Carnes Hill Marketplace since October 24 should monitor for symptoms.