New South Wales has recorded eight new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 with health officials confirming they are dealing with two different strains of the virus.
Five of the new cases are linked to a cluster in Berala, while two are connected to the northern beaches cluster.
The remaining case is a contact of a previous case in Wollongong.
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It comes amid concerns the Berala cluster could get a whole lot worse, with officials already identifying 2000 people who may have been exposed after attending a BWS store.
Those people have been told to get tested and isolate.
“New South Wales is also reviewing the CCTV footage in an effort to understand how the transmission events occurred. I’d like to acknowledge the cooperation of the BWS in assisting us with contacting people who either used reward cards or other means of paying on that day so we can reach out to you,” NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.
Tests have also confirmed that the Berala cluster is not linked to the northern beaches cluster.
Genomic sequencing shows that outbreak is connected to a positive case in a hotel quarantine transport worker.
“We had a family group who had returned from overseas and were transported to a health facility. Unfortunately one of the patient transport workers acquired infection, passed it on to a colleague, that colleague had been at the Berala BWS for a very fleeting amount of time, but what we now know is that transmission occurred” Dr Chant said.
“So it is critical that because we know these transmission events have happened through very minimal exposure, we are asking members of the community who did purchase alcohol or enter that premises for that period to be very vigilant and take the public health action of isolating for 14 days if you were there at those times.”
Just over 18,000 tests were carried out in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday which officials say is not high enough.
Mask wearing in certain indoor settings including shops and public transport is now mandatory across Greater Sydney, with $200 fines to be introduced for non-compliance from midnight.
“I would encourage the community across Greater Sydney…to wear masks in compliance with the law, but do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for your community,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
“In wearing a mask you will be keeping yourself, but also your locals, your families, your community, and, of course, possibly eventually the whole of New South Wales safe.”