Suburbs on virus alert as cases spike

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NSW officials have warned the coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate in a number of Sydney suburbs, after the state recorded 633 locally acquired cases on Wednesday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian called out the suburbs of Merrylands, Guildford, Auburn, Greenacre, Yagoona, St Mary’s, and Strathfield as areas of particular concern.

“These are the suburbs of most concern where we’re continuing to see an escalation of cases,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The South Western Sydney and Western Sydney local health districts (LHD) had the majority of cases.

Out of the record 633 new local cases reported in the past 24 hours:

  • 224 were from South Western Sydney Local Health District,
  • 216 were from Western Sydney LHD,
  • 54 were from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD,
  • 52 were from Sydney LHD,
  • 24 were from South Eastern Sydney LHD,
  • 23 were from Western NSW LHD,
  • 15 were from Hunter New England LHD,
  • six were from Northern Sydney LHD,
  • four were from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD,
  • four were from Far West LHD
  • 11 cases were yet to be assigned to an LHD.

Ms Berejiklian also sent a warning to communities in the state’s regions out west.

“We obviously remain concerned about western NSW, especially in our remote Indigenous communities,” she said.

“We are calling out that anybody who was in Wilcannia in the last little while needs to come forward and get tested.

“Please make sure you’re on alert, but especially in and around the Wilcannia area. And as we have said in the last few days, there continue to be cases especially in the west Dubbo community.”

Chief health officer Kerry Chant said there had been 23 new cases of Covid in western NSW, bringing the total number of cases in the area to 139.

Dubbo had 17 of the new cases and Wilcannia had three.

“People in the affected area through western NSW, and NSW more broadly, need to be vigilant if they have been in Wilcannia in recent days because we think that there’s been some exposure in Wilcannia,” Dr Chant said.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there had been recent cases in Mudgee, Narromine, Gilgandra, Bourke and Broken Hill as well.

There were also virus fragments detected in sewage treatment facilities in Yamba, Bathurst and Orange.

The Yamba plant serves about 6500 people, the one in Bathurst about 36,600 people, and the one in Orange about 40,000 people.

“So again we ask that the communities be particularly vigilant,” Dr Chant said.

“Can I just urge the community to follow the public health rules. Don’t try and look for loopholes. You know the intent.

“Please minimise your movements. Stay at home. We can get through this and I’m very confident, with all the efforts in place, that we can, but we need everyone to play their part.”

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