Australia

One death, five new local virus cases in NSW

NSW has recorded five new local coronavirus infections, and one more person has died from COVID-19, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced. “All of (the new positive cases are) on the northern beaches and all of them obviously associated in one way or another with the Avalon cluster,” Ms Berejiklian said.The northern beaches cluster, with the…

NSW has recorded five new local coronavirus infections, and one more person has died from COVID-19, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced.

“All of (the new positive cases are) on the northern beaches and all of them obviously associated in one way or another with the Avalon cluster,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The northern beaches cluster, with the suburb of Avalon as the epicentre, now has 126 cases associated with it.

There were also nine cases recorded in hotel quarantine in the 24-hour period up to 8pm on Sunday.

NSW Health also reported the state’s death toll from the virus had increased.

“Sadly, a man in his 70s died earlier this week from respiratory complications following a COVID-19 infection diagnosed in March,” NSW Health officials wrote in an email update.

“He was a household contact of a locally acquired case. Although his death is considered to be related to COVID-19, he had recently tested negative, was no longer infectious and posed no risk to the community. NSW Health extends its sympathies to his family.”

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said the man died on December 21.

“I think this highlights the fact that sometimes the complications can be so severe that the lung damage and other complications arising from COVID, that that can subsequently be the cause of death many months later,” Dr Chant said.

There have been 56 deaths from the coronavirus in NSW since the start of the pandemic.

Of the five new cases, one is connected to a previous case that remains under investigation.

The person is a household contact of a northern beaches resident who was previously confirmed positive. However, virus experts have not been able to link the infection to the Avalon cluster.

The other four new local cases have been linked to the Avalon cluster.

Monday’s new figures come as New Year’s Eve rules for Sydneysiders have been significantly restricted.

A planned celebration to honour emergency workers with tickets to watch the Sydney fireworks display was scrapped, and only a select few people including residents and those with restaurant bookings will be allowed near the harbour.

Christmas plans were thrown into chaos for many as the outbreak that emerged on December 16 has continued to grow in size.

The outbreak has led to localised lockdowns and mass testing as health officials scramble to contain it.

More than 350,000 coronavirus tests were conducted in NSW last week.

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