15 new COVID cases recorded in Sydney after record testing

New South Wales has recorded 15 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, all which are linked to the northern beaches cluster.

It’s a sharp reduction in Sunday’s numbers, despite more than 38,000 tests being carried out.

There are now 83 cases linked to the Avalon cluster


New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the fall in new cases is an encouraging sign.

“Thank you to the Northern Beaches community and all of those in Greater Sydney who respected the health orders and the new restrictions we’ve put in place, and they are, at this point in time, having their desired effect,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Obviously, our continued hard effort is required to make sure that we continue that downward trend but as we know in a pandemic, things can be volatile and can move quickly.

“But pleasingly overnight, we did see a reduction in the previous day’s numbers.”

However, officials are yet to identify ‘patient zero’ or work out how the virus manage to get into the community.

NSW Health is now desperately trying to stop other clusters forming across the city.

Five cases have now been linked to the Turramurra Hair Salon with anyone who was there between December 15 and December 18 urged to get tested and isolate.

An alert for the Rose of Australia Hotel in Erskineville has also been upgraded after another case was linked to the venue.

People who were at the pub on December 15 between 7pm and 9pm are also urged to get tested and isolate.

New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says everyone needs to remain vigilant.

“Whilst we have a strong focus on the Northern Beaches, it is important that we have no complacency across the Greater Sydney region, but in particular, that complacency must not exist across the whole of New South Wales,” Dr Chant said.

“So please, I urge, if you’ve got the mildest of symptoms, please come forward for testing and self-isolate until you have a negative result.”

The Premier says they are yet to make a decision on whether the northern beaches lockdown and restrictions across the rest of Sydney will remain in place for Christmas.

“Unfortunately, one day’s results doesn’t tell us it’s a trend. Obviously, we have halved the number of cases overnight, but in a pandemic, there is a level of volatility, so we’ll closely monitor what happens obviously to 8pm tonight and we’ll be making a final call on Wednesday morning.”