COVID testing up as Liverpool alert issued

A call to boost COVID-19 testing numbers in NSW has been heard loud and clear – with testing figures almost doubling in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday there were 11,816 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 6,686. 

The news comes as the state records yet another day with no locally transmitted cases, and just two new cases in quarantine overnight.

“Today is the 17th day in a row with no reported local cases, but we cannot drop our guard,” NSW Health said in a statement.

“High testing rates play an important role in helping to contain the spread of the disease, as it gives us the best chance of finding new cases and preventing new chains of transmission from becoming established.

“While testing rates have increased in recent days, they remain low compared to the much higher numbers seen in January.

“NSW Health continues to urge people across the state, particularly in the Liverpool area, to come forward for testing with even the mildest of symptoms that could signal COVID-19, such as a runny nose or scratchy throat. After testing, you must remain in isolation until a negative result is received.”

The state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected the virus that causes COVID-19 at the Ireland Park sewage network site, which serves about 88,000 people in the Liverpool catchment in south western Sydney. 

This catchment takes in the suburbs of Cecil Park, Cecil Hills, Bonnyrigg Heights, Green Valley, Len Waters Estate, Hinchinbrook, Hoxton Park, West Hoxton, Carnes Hill, Horningsea Park, Edmondson Park, Bardia, Denham Court, Leppington, Gledswood Hills, Glenfield, Casula, Prestons, Varroville and Austral. 

“While a small number of recovered cases live in this area, NSW Health is concerned that there may be undiagnosed active cases in the area,” the health authority said.

“Everyone in these suburbs is asked to be particularly vigilant for symptoms and to isolate and get tested immediately if they appear.”

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 COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

NSW Health is treating 49 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases (98%) are being treated in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.