No new cases but Auburn on alert, February 23

NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, but the ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected traces of the virus in the Auburn sewage network.

Four new cases were acquired overseas, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,965.

There were 10,177 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 12,175.

Confirmed cases (incl. interstate residents in NSW health care facilities)4,965
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases)56
Total tests carried out4,936,444

While there are a number of recently recovered cases in the Auburn area, NSW Health is urging everyone to be vigilant for symptoms – and to get tested immediately and isolate if they appear – after the state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected traces of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the Auburn Sewage Network, which serves more than 110,000 people. This is the second recent detection in this area.

Please be alert for symptoms if you live or work in the suburbs of Condell Park, Bankstown, Potts Hill, Birrong, Sefton, Bass Hill, Chester Hill, Regents Park, Chullora, Homebush West, Strathfield, Rookwood, Sydney Olympic Park, Newington, Granville, Clyde, Lidcombe, Auburn, South Granville, Guildford, Silverwater, Rosehill, Berala and Yagoona.

While today marks 37 days with no reported locally acquired cases in NSW, there is still a risk of COVID-19 spreading into the community. New cases among overseas arrivals are regularly detected, making it critical for everyone to come forward for testing with the mildest of symptoms.

An expert panel has concluded that a recently returned overseas traveller, whose infection was under investigation, had an older infection acquired while the person was overseas.

As first reported on 7 February, the person from the Wollongong area tested positive to COVID-19 two days after being released from hotel quarantine.

NSW Health thanks this person for their co-operation in undertaking a range of comprehensive COVID-19 testing as we worked to understand the timing and nature of the infection, and to rule out the possibilities that it was acquired during their stay in hotel quarantine or it was an extended incubation period.

People who have recently recovered from COVID-19 can sometimes continue to shed virus fragments for several weeks or longer, even after they are no longer infectious.

NSW Health is treating 20 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases (95 per cent) are being treated in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.

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 or contact your GP.

Likely source of confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW:

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

Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster001,642
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster00445
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing000
Under initial investigation000

Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.

*notified from 8pm 21 February 2021 to 8pm 22 February 2021

**from 16 February 2021 to 8pm 22 February 2021

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date:

Since 29 March 2020:Count
Symptomatic travellers tested10,150
Found positive196
Since 30 June 2020:Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 276,850
Found positive484
From 15 May 2020 to 12 January 2021:Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1079,623
Found positive182
Since 13 January 2021:Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 12*9,717
Found positive11

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

Today’s video update with Dr Christine Selvey: