NSW reports 10 new coronavirus cases

NSW has recorded five new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, increasing the likelihood that the border reopening with Queensland will be delayed.

The state recorded 10 new cases in total in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, bring the overall number of cases in NSW to 4,082. 

Five of the new cases are returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine while the other five were locally acquired and linked to a known case or cluster. 

NSW Health said four of the new locally acquired cases reported on Friday are associated with a private health clinic cluster.

NSW Health said all indications were that one of the new locally acquired cases is an old case most likely acquired when the virus was circulating at low levels in southwest Sydney in August. 

Meanwhile, the department is working with Potts Point restaurant Monopole to assess the risk to patrons and staff who may have been exposed to COVID-19 when a person who was infectious visited from 6pm to 8pm on October 4.

Contact tracing is underway and NSW Health will contact close and casual contacts directly but urged anyone who was there to monitor for symptoms. 

NSW recorded eight more locally-acquired coronavirus cases on Thursday, including three flagged on Wednesday, ending a 12-day streak without any community transmission.

Five of the cases announced on Thursday were linked to a Liverpool Hospital dialysis cluster – one healthcare worker in her 30s, two women who visited her, and two household contacts aged in their 60s and 80s.

The source of the second cluster – the three cases revealed on Wednesday – is under investigation.

“We anticipate that because we’ve identified these eight cases, that a number of close contacts and family members could be found to be positive as a result, so it’s really important for everybody to stay on high alert,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

A spokesperson from Macquarie University confirmed that a student was among the recently diagnosed cases, and contact tracing was underway.

The rise new local cases has threatened the prospect of  Queensland reopening its border with NSW on November 1.

Queensland on Wednesday gave NSW 48 hours to find the source of three new cases before restarting the 28-day countdown clock that triggers border re-openings.

Ms Berejiklian on Thursday accused her northern counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk of “making up rules”.

“I don’t know where they got that 48-hour deadline concept from and I certainly want to send a very strong message to our health experts in NSW – just continue to do your jobs well (and) ignore those artificial deadlines other governments are imposing on us,” she said.

Ms Berejiklian also said the NSW government was considering making the Service NSW QR scanning code a compulsory feature for venues and businesses after a restaurant visited by a person with the virus failed to record the details of all of its patrons.

“I have no patience anymore for people, and businesses in particular, that aren’t doing the right thing … We can’t have a few people let down the whole community.”

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