NSW is expected to report more than two infections of coronavirus in its next update, as the colossal task of contact tracing thousands of people who visited a western Sydney bottle shop continues.
The health department on Monday flagged it had identified two further cases of local transmission after the cut-off time for reporting cases at 8pm on Sunday night.
Those will be included in Tuesday’s numbers, which will be more than two, Acting Premier John Barilaro told media on Tuesday morning.
He also indicated that the number would be “reasonable”.
Authorities are still pleading with residents in Sydney’s west to get tested for COVID-19 in greater numbers as a cluster in the region continues to grow.
NSW recorded zero new locally-acquired coronavirus cases for the first time in almost three weeks, in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.
However, the two new cases – linked to the BWS bottle shop in Berala – were registered after 8pm on Sunday, raising concerns about the 13-strong cluster.
Most people who dropped by the BWS over the Christmas period are considered close contacts who must self-isolate for 14 days. This health order is believed to apply to thousands of people.
Mr Barilaro admitted on Monday contact tracing at the BWS was a colossal task, as QR codes are not mandatory at bottle shops.
Some 22,275 people sought COVID-19 testing in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday but Mr Barilaro said that number was too low.
He implored western Sydney residents to be swabbed if they have the slightest of symptoms, even if they have been tested previously.
The government wants to see 30,000 to 50,000 tests each day.
While Tuesday’s numbers are expected to show a lift in the number of people getting tested, compared to Monday, it’s still likely to fall short of what the government wants to see.
NSW Health late on Monday issued updated alerts for a supermarket and an RSL club, both in Sydney’s west.
Anyone who went to Woolworths at Berala between December 20 to December 31 should get tested immediately and isolate until their results come back.
Anyone who was in the gaming area of the Earlwood Bardwell Park RSL for more than an hour between 8.52pm and 11.30pm on December 28 is now considered a close contact of an infected person and must also get tested.
There are also alerts in place for other western Sydney venues including Auburn’s Reading Cinema and Woolworths and OKS Beauty and Hair in Lidcombe.
Sydney’s new mask regime came into force on Monday, with police able to issue $200 fines to those not wearing masks in most indoor settings.
Police had issued no fines by Monday afternoon.
The northern part of the northern beaches peninsula, where there’s a cluster of 148 infected people, will remain under stay-at-home orders until at least Saturday.
SCG cricket ruling
The New South Wales government has slashed the number of fans allowed into the SCG for this week’s third Test amid Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak.
Originally slated to operate at 50 per cent of its capacity, that has been halved again to 25 per cent.
The Australian Medical Association had led calls for the match to be played in front of empty stands because of the risk it could be a super-spreading event.
Instead, roughly 10,000 fans will be allowed into the ground when the Test begins on Thursday, January 7.
Every ticket sold in the lead-up to the match will be refunded, with revised tickets to go on sale at 5pm on Monday.