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COVID shock: Freedom paused as NSW cases spike

NSW recorded 11 local COVID cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night with the state now "on the verge" of being at the same risk as when the massive Crossroads Hotel cluster began.

There were three cases in hotel quarantine, taking the total number of NSW cases to 14.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new cases forced the government to hold off easing restrictions further.

"We had intended to ease some further restrictions (today) but we decided to hold off until Dr Chant gives us the green light," she said.

NSW Health authorities are urging more people to get tested for coronavirus. Picture: NCA NewsWire / James Gourley
NSW Health authorities are urging more people to get tested for coronavirus. Picture: NCA NewsWire / James Gourley

There were 16,000 tests performed but "that is not enough" in current circumstances, Ms Berejiklian said.

The Premier said: "This is the most concerned we've been" since the Crossroads cluster began.

An additional case not included in today's numbers was recorded in Bargo.

Nine cases were linked to the so-called Lakemba GP cluster, the source of which is still unknown.

Two cases were linked to a private clinic in Liverpool.

Larger group bookings at hospitality venues and bigger wedding have been put on hold because of new COVID cases on Wednesday.

Premier Berejiklian said the government was set to announce relaxed rules allowing bookings larger than 10 and more people at seated weddings on Wednesday, but was forced to delay easing restrictions because of a spike in local cases.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said “this is the most concerned” authorities had been since the Crossroads cluster began. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said “this is the most concerned” authorities had been since the Crossroads cluster began. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

"I always said in NSW, back in February and March, when the severity of COVID became apparent that I don't want to be in a position where we go backwards," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We feel confident we can maintain the two-square-metre outdoor rules from Friday. That affects CBD not necessarily suburban venues. Should the health advice remain concerning we won't be able to make further changes to restrictions because it is important to know what tomorrow's numbers are going to be."

Victoria records seven new COVID cases, five deaths

Victoria has recorded seven new coronavirus cases and five deaths as the city's all important 14-day average fell slightly.

But alarmingly, regional Victoria's 14-day average has increased from 0.4 to 0.6 overnight after three people tested positive in Shepparton.

Mystery cases in Melbourne have increased by one to 14 since Tuesday, while the 14-day average has decreased slightly from 10 to 9.6.

Health authorities say the 14-day average must be about five for the government to consider easing restrictions on October 19.

Health alert for Sydney McDonald's, Bunnings, Ikea

A public health alert was issued on Tuesday after a person with COVID-19 visited popular locations in NSW, including a Woolworths, McDonalds, Bunnings, and Ikea.

Anyone who visited Ikea Tempe on October 7 between 1.30pm and 5.30pm is asked to monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.
Anyone who visited Ikea Tempe on October 7 between 1.30pm and 5.30pm is asked to monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.

NSW Health urged anyone who had visited the key sites to get tested for coronavirus.

The venues of concern are:

  • Woolworths Oran Park, 351 Oran Park Drive on Wednesday, September 30 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm; Thursday, October 8 from 5.15pm to 6pm; Friday, October 9 from 6pm to 6.30pm
  • Prasadi Nepali Emerald Hills, 2 Hurricane Drive, Raby on Friday, October 2 from 3.30pm to 4pm
  • Emerald Hills McDonalds, 101 Raby Road, Leppington on Friday, October 2 from 5pm to 5.15pm
  • Aldi Emerald Hills, Shop 2/03, 5 Emerald Hills Boulevard, Leppington, on Friday, October 2 from 5.30pm to 6.15pm
  • Fantastic Furniture Campbelltown, 4 Blaxland Road, Campbelltown, on Friday, October 9 from 3.30pm to 5.20pm
  • Bunnings Gregory Hills, 2 Rodeo Rd, Gregory Hills, on Tuesday, October 6 from 7pm to 8pm
  • Ikea Tempe, 634-726 Princes Highway, Tempe, on Wednesday, October 7 from 1.30pm to 5.30pm

Anyone who attended the following venues is considered a casual contact and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop, NSW Health said.

After testing, they must remain in isolation until a negative test result is received.

 

Originally published as COVID shock: Freedom paused as NSW cases spike


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