NSW on “high alert” as state records 16 new virus cases

New South Wales has recorded 16 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian warning the state is on high alert as they try and avoid an outbreak of community transmission.

Of the new cases, one is an international traveller who remains in hotel quarantine while the remaining 15 cases are connected to known outbreaks.

“So, the fact that is not a new stream of outbreak is reassuring at one level, but I still want to state that the state is on high alert,” the Premier said.


Ms Berejiklian said the next four weeks will be “the most critical time” for the state and has pleaded for everyone to “think seriously” about their weekend plans.

“Please whether or not you live in a community which has had cases or not, we want everybody to think seriously about what they are doing over the weekend to make sure you avoid crowds, make sure you avoid putting yourself in a situation that will compromise your health or those of others,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Think about the number of people you are having into your home. We know from the health advice, we know from what has happened elsewhere, the highest risk activities are those inside your home or those inside a confined space such as a hospitality venue.”

The Premier admitted that officials have a “level of anxiety” about the extent of community transmission if residents fail to abide by the rules.

“If we manage to get on top of the community transmission at this stage, we have a much better chance of continuing the move forward in a positive way, but the next few weeks are critical,” she said.

“We are not out of the woods by any stretch, quite the opposite… I remain concerned about the next few weeks. We remain on high alert and we have some level of anxiety as to the extent of community transmission.”

Ms Berejiklian again reminded those who may have been in contact with a positive case about the importance of getting tested and self-isolating.

“The next level of compliance in addition to being vigilant on getting tested is of course to make sure you stay home for 14 days,” she said.

“This is not new advice, but it is important advice. Because we know the virus has an incubation period of 14 days.

“So even if you have tested negative initially, but you have been exposed, you have been in a venue where someone with the virus has been. If you have been directly exposed and the health advice is for you to stay home for 14 days, please stay home for 14 days.”

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant urged people to wear a mask if they’re in an environment where they cannot social distance.

“We encourage the use of masks where social distancing is not available,” Dr Chant said.

“We see masks as the fourth prong of a strategy which is really around where you can’t socially distance.”