• Annemarie Taylor

Monday COVID update – NO NEW CASES IN NSW - but testing numbers too low says Deputy Premier

NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, the first time it has done so since 15 December 2020.

But Deputy Premier John Barilaro says the number of tests at 22,275 in the last 24 hours is too low and is urging people to get tested immediately if they have any symptoms.

"My message today is, again, if we’re going to succeed in staying a head of the COVID pandemic, testing is crucial in large numbers so we can be confident of the data when we’re making decisions as we progress going forward," says the Deputy Premier.

And Health Minister Brad Hazzard has some words this morning for those who object to wearing masks when they go shopping.

"I have noted that there have been some demonstrations in the last 24 hours indicating that some people don’t like the idea of a mask," the Minister said.

"Well, if they don’t like the idea of a mask, stay home or stay outside. You don’t have to go into the shopping centres and put other people at danger. So there’s a way of actually balancing these issues. Find the balance. Some common sense and some care for your fellow community members."

Seven cases were recorded in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4776.

There were 22,275 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 18,923.

NSW Health urges people – especially those in western, south-western Sydney and Wollongong – to continue to come forward with even the mildest of symptoms.

Meanwhile, face masks are now mandatory in the following indoor settings in the Greater Sydney area – which includes the Hawkesbury:

Shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)

Public/shared transport

Indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)

Places of worship and hair and beauty premises.

Face masks are also mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues and casinos, and for patrons using gaming services.

Other measures limit the number of people who can gather in certain settings.

People are still encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings and reduce their mobility where possible to further minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community.

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