COVID-19 detected in sewage in Berala, Northern Beaches

NSW recorded zero new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

There were five cases recorded in returned travellers, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,895.

While there were 12,213 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 19,959, NSW Health can advise the reported testing numbers today appear lower after a minor IT issue delayed inclusion of approximately 6,000 negative tests. These figures will be counted in tomorrow’s numbers. There were no delays reporting test results to individuals who had been tested.

Confirmed cases (incl. interstate residents in NSW health care facilities)4,895
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases)56
Total tests carried out4,524,482

The five new cases reported to 8pm last night were all acquired overseas.

NSW Health is continuing to urge people across Sydney, but particularly the city’s west and south-west and Northern Beaches to come forward for testing if they have even the mildest of symptoms, such as a sore throat or cough.

High testing rates help reveal cases that would otherwise go undetected. Every person who gets tested is not only helping to protect others in the community, but they are also playing an important role in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19.

NSW Health’s sewage surveillance program has overnight detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 at a treatment plant in Warriewood, which takes in a catchment of more than 160,000 people on the Northern Beaches, and at Berala, which takes in a catchment of almost 10,000 people across the suburbs of Berala, Auburn, Lidcombe, Rookwood, and Regents Park.

This follows the detection reported yesterday of the virus at a treatment plant in Glenfield, which takes in a catchment of more than 160,000 people.

While this likely reflects known recent confirmed cases in these areas, everyone living or working there should monitor for symptoms and get tested and isolate immediately if they appear.

There are more than 350 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.

People are urged to check the NSW Government website for regularly updated details of venues of concern, and affected public transport routes, and are asked to follow the health advice provided.

NSW Health is treating 93 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases (99 per cent) are being treated in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.

Likely source of confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW:

Likely source of infectionCases
past 24 hours*
Cases past 7 days**All cases


Overseas5342,715
Interstate0090
Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster061,642
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster00439
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing019
Under initial investigation000
Total5414,895
Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.
*notified from 8pm 19 January 2021 to 8pm 20 January 2021 **from 8pm 14 January 2021 to 8pm 20 January 2021  

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date:

Since 29 March 2020:Count
Symptomatic travellers tested9,151
Found positive191
Since 30 June 2020:Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 269,767
Found positive450
From 15 May 2020 to 12 January 2021:Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1079,623
Found positive182
Since 13 January 2021Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 12*2,334
Found positive3

* Testing previously carried out on day 10 is now carried out on day 12.

Today’s update with Dr Jeremy McAnulty: