New South Wales has recorded 18 new local cases of COVID-19 in an encouraging sign for the state
The numbers come after almost 59,000 tests being carried out in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
All but one of the new cases have been linked to the existing cluster with the remaining case under investigation.
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However, officials say that case was in the “vicinity” of the other cases and is also likely linked.
Officials confirmed at least six of the new cases had already been in isolation but several others had been out in the community during their entire infectious period.
Two of the new cases are students of South Coogee Public School, taking the total cases from there to four.
All students at the school are now regarded as close contacts and will need to get tested and isolate for 14 days.
A student at The Emanuel School in Randwick has also tested positive.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian welcomed today’s numbers but warned they are unlikely to remain at that level.
“While the numbers today are less than the numbers yesterday, we have to be prepared for the numbers to bounce around and we have to be prepared for the numbers to go up considerably,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is really important for everybody to follow the health rules, to look for those venues of concern, to make sure you get tested and isolates if you have been asked to do so.
“The most important message I would like to give everybody is every time you leave the home, assume that yourselves or other people around you have the virus. That is the way we have to live during the lockdown and beyond.”
New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says they’re not likely to see a significant decline in numbers for at least another five days.
“What is going to be key is the number we would like to increasingly see is all our cases in isolation, all the cases are linked,” Dr Chant said.
“But if we don’t want to see these cases dribble on, we all have a role to play in adhering to the health advice.”
Police have confirmed they’ve issued 44 fines to people who have breached COVID rules, mostly for not wearing a mask.
Commissioner Mick Fuller revealed they include two men who were sunbaking naked on a beach on the south coast.
“They were startled by a deer, ran into the national park, and got lost. Not only did they require assistance from SES and police to rescue them, they also both received a ticket for $1,000,” Commissioner Fuller said.
A 33-year-old from Ermington was also fined after being stopped at Goulburn without a valid excuse.