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A business at Rouse Hill reminding customers to keep safe. A business at Rouse Hill reminding customers to keep safe. Featured
20 December 2020 Posted by 

COVID-19 ALERT ISSUED FOR WEST

Fears over Northern Beaches outbreak 
ELIZABETH FRIAS
NSW Health has raised a public health alert for Greater Sydney following COVID-19 cases emerging in the Northern Beaches.
 
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has pleaded with Sydneysiders to keep safe by staying home from 5pm on Saturday, December 19 until midnight on Wednesday, December 23 and avoid non-essential activities and public gathering as temporary measures are put in place to contain a serious outbreak traced from Avalon in the Northern Beaches.
 
As of 8pm, Saturday, December 19, NSW Health recorded 21 cases linked to the Avalon cluster, two new local cases, and seven cases acquired overseas now in hotel quarantine. 
 
Of the 38 cases in the Avalon cluster, 15 cases were linked to the Avalon RSL Club, 23 cases to the Avalon Bowling Club, and several cases of individuals that attended both venues.
 
More new cases were located on public transport routes in Avalon Beach, Surry Hills, Narrabeen, Turramurra, Erskineville, St Peters, Mona Vale, Palm Beach, Brookvale, Homebush and Forster and Raymond Terrace in the Mid-North Coast.  
 
"We are asking everybody to maintain that same level of caution we had in March and to do the right thing so we can erase any fragment of this virus and give Sydney a good chance," Ms Berejiklian said.
 
"If we want to give people a good Christmas we need to get on top of this virus quickly.
 
"I ask everybody to please stay at home tonight and until Wednesday night, limit your activities for essentials only and we asked you to undertake these activities in your good faith."
 
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the Coronavirus threat has remained "dangerous" and public health order compliance must be taken seriously because the 38 cases from the Avalon cluster are expected to increase in the next 36 hours as contact tracing and investigation continue.
 
“Please stick with what we're asking you to do because we don't want this virus seeding across Sydney," Mr Hazzard said.
 
Across NSW, particularly in the Northern Beaches suburbs that had been closed off from the rest of Sydney since Friday, COVID-19 testing had been intensified including the testing of sewerages to detect traces of the Coronavirus to "decrease the virus' mobility," said NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant.
 
The rising cases linked to the Avalon cluster were used as evidence that "seeding" had taken place possibly affecting several hundred attendees at Avalon Anytime Fitness.
 
The gym attendees are now being contacted for immediate testing. A known case has attended the gym over several days while infectious.
 
A number of non-essential businesses such as cafes, restaurants and shops, entertainment venues, and churches across the Northern Beaches have voluntarily closed their doors since the outbreak this week.
 
Residents in the Greater Sydney area are now required to wear face masks in public places and on public transport while businesses must list the names and contact details of people on their premises or by electronic recording using the QR code.
 
The total number of cases in NSW is 4,523 since the beginning of the pandemic, 70 were confirmed in the last seven days and 30 cases in the last 24 hours from Saturday, December 19. Of the 908 deaths from COVID-19 across Australia, 53 were from NSW. The national count of cases is currently 28, 128, according to the federal health ministry.
 
More than 300 testing centres across NSW are open seven days a week while new pop-up testing clinics have opened in the Northern Beaches to reach as many residents as possible and prevent spread of infections.
 
Anyone noticing even mildest symptoms such as headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat or runny nose, is urged to immediately go for testing, then isolate until a negative result is received.
 
To find your nearest clinic visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.
 
 
 


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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