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Fears for COVID spread across Sydney

NSW health authorities are concerned the northern beaches cluster has spread through greater Sydney and have pleaded with residents across the major city to be cautious.Just seven new infections were added to the outbreak from Avalon on Tuesday morning, taking the cluster’s total number to 90, but chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said these…

NSW health authorities are concerned the northern beaches cluster has spread through greater Sydney and have pleaded with residents across the major city to be cautious.

Just seven new infections were added to the outbreak from Avalon on Tuesday morning, taking the cluster’s total number to 90, but chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said these new cases have been detected beyond the original sites.

“Clearly we are seeing some venue transmission in other sites outside the Avalon RSL and the Avalon bowlo,” she told reporters, referring to the two venues responsible for the most infections related to the northern beaches cluster.

“We are concerned in transmission events occurring outside the northern beaches because residents in those areas are not subject to the same lockdown provisions as in the northern beaches.”

RELATED: Full list of hotspot venues here

Health authorities have zeroed in on venues known to be locations of community transmission outside of the northern beaches, including Erskineville pub The Rose of Australia, Alimentari Cafe in Paddington and BodyFit Gym in Blacktown.

Those in Sydney’s Upper North Shore are also being urged to get tested after coronavirus was detected in sewage systems at a treatment plant in Hornsby Heights.

It was also discovered in sewage systems on Saturday December 19 from the sewerage system that drains parts of Berowra, Cowan, Berowra Heights, Hornsby Heights, Mount Colah, Mount Kuring-Gai, Asquith and Hornsby.

Meanwhile, a new case is being investigated and is not believed to be linked to the northern beaches cluster.

This person, a health care worker from Sydney’s western suburbs, was involved in the transfer of patients from the international airport.

“This case has transported several patients but we have identified that they also have transferred positive COVID cases,” Dr Chant said on Tuesday.

“We are obviously doing urgent genome sequencing to confirm that is the source of their infection and those results will be available later today.

“A close workplace contact of this health care worker has come back positive since the 8pm figures and that will be included in the account for tomorrow.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian applauded the record number of those who came forward for virus testing — more than 44,000 in a single day — but said the “threat of the virus spreading is there because of the number of venues that have been impacted”.

“We take a very precautionary approach in New South Wales,” she said. “We put information up there as soon as possible and we always take the cautionary approach so sometimes a venue may subsequently be ruled out but it‘s important for us to get that information out to the community as soon as possible.”

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