NSW declares war on virus as Victoria records a new case

 

As Sydney races to save Christmas amid fresh venue warnings across the city today, the NSW Health Minister has given a strong hint of what today's crucial new case numbers could look like.   

Authorities are understood to be monitoring the situation hourly today and - in particular - they are watching to see if infections are spreading to other areas of Sydney outside of the northern beaches cluster, which is currently linked to 83 cases.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard already knows the latest case numbers in the state, and in an encouraging sign he revealed he is feeling "quite positive" about them.

"All I will say is that at this point I am fairly happy, that is all I will say if you don't mind. I am fairly happy on that issue," he told Sunrise.

However, he used bombastic language to remind residents that the fight against the virus is not over and they should get tested.

"We are in a war [against COVID-19]," he told ABC's Radio National. "When in war, you have to take part and fight."

Gyms, cinemas and supermarkets are among the new venues added to NSW Health's alert list.

In an update late last night, NSW Health flagged venues in a slew of suburbs including Avalon, Blacktown, Alexandria, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Newport, Warriewood, Macquarie Park, Bayview and downtown Sydney.

Meanwhile, Victoria has picked up its first interstate case from the NSW cluster. The DHHS says the positive case is from a returned traveller who acquired the case on the northern beaches of NSW.

At this stage there are believed to be a limited number of close contacts, but investigations are continuing.

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Victoria picks up interstate case

Victoria has picked up its first interstate case.

The DHHS says the positive case is from a returned traveller who acquired the case on the northern beaches of NSW.

At this stage there are believed to be a limited number of close contacts, but investigations are continuing.

It said at this stage there are no exposure sites in Victoria.

Two cases were also picked up in hotel quarantine.

 

Beaches man found in regional pool

A 70-year-old man who allegedly travelled from Sydney's northern beaches hotspot into a regional community is being investigated and faces a hefty fine for flagrantly breaching strict coronavirus restrictions.

It's believed the northern beaches man travelled more than three hours down the coast to Ulladulla in the Shoalhaven region and was busted trying to enter a leisure centre at about 4pm on Monday.

 

New NSW numbers 'quite positive'

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard knows the latest case numbers in the state and he is feeling "quite positive" about them.

He told Sunrise: "All I will say is that at this point I am fairly happy, that is all I will say if you don't mind. I am fairly happy on that issue."

However, he also told ABC's Radio National just now that the the state was in a "war" with the virus and he urged residents to "fight" by getting tested.

"We are in a war [against COVID-19]," he said. "When in war, you have to take part and fight."

He said the public can be reassured by the immense efforts of health authorities.

"What we are doing at the moment is about as good as it gets," he said.

The official numbers will be revealed at 11am AEDST.

 

We're asking everyone to double down'

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has urged residents across the state to "double down" on their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Health authorities are racing against time to track down hundreds of people across Sydney who may have come into contact with positive COVID cases, in a last-minute bid to stop Christmas restrictions.

"We're asking everyone to double down, remain compliant. If we can do this together I'm confident we will get out quicker than we have seen at any other time this year," Mr Barilaro told Today.

He added that authorities are close to honing in on patient zero.

"This is something that takes a bit of time and we don't want to get it wrong," he said.

"So there's a lot of work happening behind closed doors. I am confident we will get to the source, as we work through this."