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Virus found 90km from cluster as several new cases revealed

Sydney remains on alert with three new cases of COVID-19 revealed on Tuesday, all linked to the growing northern beaches cluster.But a case diagnosed in a Wollongong resident after the 8pm reporting period has authorities seriously concerned.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed “a couple” of new cases were recorded overnight and were yet to be linked…

Sydney remains on alert with three new cases of COVID-19 revealed on Tuesday, all linked to the growing northern beaches cluster.

But a case diagnosed in a Wollongong resident after the 8pm reporting period has authorities seriously concerned.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed “a couple” of new cases were recorded overnight and were yet to be linked to the cluster.

The Wollongong person has recently visited Sydney, and the other two cases are from Sydney’s north and the inner west, but none have been linked.

“I am not ruling out they are linked to the Avalon cluster … the case from Wollongong had been in Sydney, but until those links are established all of us in Greater Sydney must be on high alert,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I say that in order to encourage as many people as possible across the state, even if you live in the regions, if you have the mildest of symptoms please come forward to get tested.”

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said health authorities were only alerted to the new cases outside of Sydney early on Tuesday morning.

The three cases recorded before 8pm are already in isolation.

There’s also been a dramatic drop in testing numbers despite the Premier’s constant pleas for a higher turnout.

There were more than 16,000 tests overnight – just days after close to 70,000 swabs were taken in a single day, while 40,000 tests were conducted on Christmas Day.

The numbers come as contact tracers in NSW continue working to determine the source of five mystery cases in Sydney amid concerns the virus is spreading outside the northern beaches.

One northern beaches case on Monday was not linked to the Avalon cluster, while five mystery cases, which were recorded on Sunday, continue to stump health officials.

They are a worker at the Belrose Hotel, firefighter from the Crows Nest station, a Manly commuter, a Bondi resident and a man who visited the Sydney CBD.

The mystery cases have prompted Dr Chant to urge more Sydney residents to come forward for COVID-19 testing after numbers dropped over the weekend.

Several venues were also put on alert late on Monday including:

BONDI BEACH: Woolworths Metro 184 Campbell Parade, Sunday, December 20, 5pm-6pm

EDGECLIFF: Coles, New South Head Road and Ocean Avenue, Sunday, December 20, 7pm-7.30pm

SYDNEY: Kinokuniya Sydney, 500 George Street, Sunday, December 20, 3pm-3.45pm

SYDNEY: David Jones, 86-108 Castlereagh Street, Sunday, December 20, 2.10pm-2.45pm

SYDNEY: Uniqlo, MidCity Centre, Level 1, 197 Pitt Street Mall, Sunday, December 20, 4pm-4.15pm

Cricket Australia is also expected to make a decision on whether or not the SCG Test will be moved to another venue later on Tuesday.

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