Lifestyle

COVID testing still too low: NSW Health

NSW has no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, while the dwindling number of people being tested doubled overnight after authorities issued a warning.

NSW Health said 13,970 people were tested for COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, compared with just 6040 in the previous 24 hours.

“While numbers have increased since yesterday, there are still too few people being tested,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We are likely to miss cases if there is a delay in being tested. Please come forward for testing immediately with even the mildest of symptoms.

“Don’t wait to see if your runny nose or sore throat goes away.”

It’s the fifth consecutive day with no local COVID-19 transmission in NSW, while two cases were reported in returned overseas travellers.

On Tuesday, NSW Health said there weren’t enough people getting tested, and warned that with restrictions being eased and borders reopening, it was not the time to be complacent.

“Experience has shown us how easily the virus can spread through the community if we let down our guard,” it said on Wednesday.

People in southwestern Sydney are being urged to get tested promptly if they have any symptoms after fragments of the virus were detected at the Liverpool sewage treatment plant.

Meanwhile, Premier Gladys Berejiklian brushed off concerns about the revelation there was another breach of quarantine in July when a man arriving from the US avoided hotel quarantine in Sydney before flying to Melbourne.

Ms Berejiklian said the workers processing returning travellers did an outstanding job but there was “no doubt human error can play a part, it’s not a foolproof system”.

“Even when people are really good at what they do …mistakes can still happen,” she told Sky News.

“I think we’ve managed it extremely well. We’ve welcomed back at least 100,000 Australians through the quarantine system … NSW is doing the heavy lifting for the nation,” she said.

“I can’t even promise you there won’t be more mistakes in the future. It’s a risk.”

Investigations continue into the source of the recent COVID-19 case of a woman who works as a cleaner at a Sydney quarantine hotel.

Testing of her close contacts was continuing, and no further positive results had been identified.

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