Coronavirus NSW: all you need to know today



NSW has recorded its biggest overnight spike with a further 149 COVID-19 cases bringing the total diagnoses across the state to 818.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the rise as a "substantial increase" and said flagged putting stricter lockdown measures in place if the spread can't be reduced.

She warned NSW could follow measures imposed in the UK and New Zealand but that she didn't "want to go down that path."

The Premier also reaffirmed her decision to keep schools open for parents that couldn't keep their children at home but said homeschooling was still recommended.

Five more COVID-19 cases were confirmed on NSW's Mid North Coast late yesterday, which brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Mid North Coast to eight.

The Clarence Valley now has a COVID-19 fever clinic.
Grafton Base Hospital executive manager Dan Madden said yhe public should remember it was not "open slather" at the clinic.

"We'll be only testing people who meet the NSW Health guidelines for those who need testing," he said.

Renters on the Northern Rivers are staring down the barrel of some hard times due to new COVID-19 measures which have seen businesses close and jobs lost.

In other news a federal government minister says "maybe a million" people were left unemployed overnight by drastic shutdown measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert made the comments this morning amid fears up to two million Australians could find themselves out of work in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, as thousands of people queued up outside Centrelink offices around the country for the second day.


Health staff have been warned not to wear their scrubs in public. Photo: Supplied
Health staff have been warned not to wear their scrubs in public. Photo: Supplied

As states and territories continue to report record one-day increases in new cases, experts warn up to 15 million Australians could contract the virus in coming months, sparking fears hospitals could be overwhelmed.

Meanwhile tens of thousands of people living and working near the NSW-Queensland border are in limbo as the Queensland State Government plans an unprecedented border lockdown.

Despite continued calls to self isolate and practice social distancing, tourists staying in Byron Bay have ignored the rules to catch a sunset.

Posting to Facebook, local resident Tim Cassidy shared photos of the popular foreshore near Byron Bay, showing tourists gathering in groups to watch the sun go down.

Social media users were quick to comment on the groups, questioning why some are ignoring advice.

"I love the young people … but why aren't they listening … there is plenty of beach to spread out on," one suggested.

"This is going to spread like wild fires if people don't start using preventive measures," another added.

Exhausted health workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic have been told to stop wearing uniforms in public after being spat at and refused entry to shops.

According to Gold Coast Health, members of the public have lashed out at staff in their hospital uniforms fearing they might contaminate them with the potentially deadly virus - a fear which has no basis in truth.

In a notice sent to staff, all nurses, doctors and other health personnel have been warned not to wear their uniforms or identification when going to and from work in order to avoid abuse from the general public.

In what could be a medical breakthrough, losing your sense of smell could be one of the first signs you have COVID-19, Flinders University experts say.

Ear nose and throat (ENT) surgeons said loss of smell was reported in one in three COVID-19 patients in Korea and in Germany it was one in two patients.

As the battle to contain the virus continues, Australia could start running out of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds out in less than three weeks if the coronavirus cases keep rising as they are now, it has been warned.

ABC presenter Dr Norman Swan warned hospital beds could run out in NSW by April 10.

"If this hockey stick (the sudden rise in cases) doesn't change that much, is that we'll be out of ICU beds in New South Wales, Victoria will be behind that, by April 10," he said.

And as parents everywhere begin homeschooling amid the coronavirus pandemic, a mum of 21 has stunned Instagram with a photo her new reality.



Your complete coronavirus survival guide

Coronavirus noticeboard: what you need to know

Revealed: the countries claiming to be virus free