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10 new cases of COVID in NSW

There have been 10 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed in New South Wales up to 8pm on Sunday night.Of those, six were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, and four were locally transmitted, linked to the Sydney CBD cluster.Two of the new local cases are household contacts of a previously reported case, and the other two…

There have been 10 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed in New South Wales up to 8pm on Sunday night.

Of those, six were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, and four were locally transmitted, linked to the Sydney CBD cluster.

Two of the new local cases are household contacts of a previously reported case, and the other two are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant announced new health alerts for four venues in Sydney’s inner west and North Shore.

Anyone who attended Woolworths Balmain on August 27 from 10am to 11am or the Chemist Warehouse in Balmain on Friday, August 28 from 2 to 2.30pm is considered a casual contact.

They should get tested if symptoms emerge and isolate until they return a negative result.

The same advice has been issued for anyone who went to Sushi Rio at Chatswood on August 27 from 5.45pm to 7.30pm and Coles in St Ives on Friday, August 28 between 1pm and 2pm.

One case worked at the Reddam Early Learning Centre in Linfield for three days on August 25, 26 and 27 before becoming unwell on August 27.

The centre is closed for cleaning and contact tracing is under way.

Dr Chant said contact tracing for an outbreak on a Sydney bus was continuing, with authorities to review CCTV footage of the bus to see if passengers were socially distanced and using registered Opal cards to track down passengers.

While refusing to say mask wearing should become mandatory, the CHO advised the public to wear a mask in “all settings”, especially those where social distancing was not possible.

Dr Chant said the State Government was still in the education phase of mask wearing and wanted more people to acquire and get used to masks before making them mandatory.

“Once we make it mandatory it means there will be no exceptions to the rule, and we need to give the community time to embrace masks, get used to them and to acquire them,” she said.

“Clearly, I’m strongly saying that mask wearing, it is one additional layer. It complements the key messages which is do not go out and about if you have got symptoms. Please stay home and get tested.

“We need good, strong hand washing, and mask wearing is something I strongly recommend for all settings including where you cannot socially distance.

“We know on certain times on public transport that is challenging. We know when you’re in supermarkets or other crowded environments and that’s the time to wear masks.

“I would like to see that raised across the population, not just only on public transport.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said masks were “important” and a “critical part of our defence to the pandemic”, but health advice suggested they could give people a false sense of security.

“We don‘t want people wearing a mask thinking they can go out and conduct their business if they are infected,” she said.

“It won‘t work.”

Ms Berejiklian said while the numbers were promising, NSW was not yet out of the woods and encouraged anyone with the mildest of symptoms to get tested.

“Every day is a battle and that’s why it’s really important to encourage people who have the mildest of symptoms to come forward,” she said.

“Normally, August, September is the peak time for the flu, but because we’re hand sanitising and keeping our distances, those numbers haven’t materialised – but that means if you do have a symptom you should assume it’s COVID and not the flu.”

She said the virus was still circulating throughout the community, with contact tracers still looking for the source of some infections.

“The unknown cases always worries me and I know it worries Dr Chant,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The accumulation of the unknown cases is the biggest risk. What that tells us is the virus is circulating.

“People may have accessed it from a spot we haven’t identified. That is the biggest risk for us.”

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