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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Testing falls as COVID-19 cases rise

NSW Health authorities are bracing for an influx of new cases today as positive COVID-19 infections relating to a Western Sydney health clinic continue to grow.

The state reported six new locally-transmitted cases yesterday – all were close contacts of the person who visited Wentworthville Medical and Dental Clinic on Friday, January 15 while infectious.

There were also three cases recorded in returned travellers, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,877.

Authorities are also concerned at a continuing drop in the state’s testing rate, with just 12,764 tests conducted yesterday, compared with 14,574 the previous day.

“The drop in daily testing numbers remains a concern, and NSW Health renews its calls for people to get tested if they are experiencing even the mildest of symptoms,” NSW Health said in a statement.

A staff member at Concord Repatriation General Hospital was one of yesterday’s new cases.

“They are now in isolation but worked three shifts at the hospital in the cardiology and radiology wards while potentially infectious on the 12th, 13th and 14th of January,” NSW Health said.

“The person’s role involves minimal contact with patients. They wore a face mask during each shift.

“Seven other staff have been identified as close contacts of this case. They are self-isolating and have all have tested negative for COVID-19 to date. Staff who have been identified as casual contacts are being notified by the public health unit and are undergoing testing.”

NSW Health said it believes there is no ongoing risk to staff or patients.

Meanwhile, the state’s ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 at the treatment plant in Glenfield.

This catchment takes in the suburbs of Airds, Ambarvale, Appin, Bardia, Blair Athol, Blairmount, Bow Bowing, Bradbury, Campbelltown, Casula, Claymore, Currans Hill, Eagle Vale, Englorie Park, Eschol Park, Gilead, Glen Alpine, Glenfield, Gregory Hills, Holsworthy, Ingleburn, Kearns, Kentlyn, Leumeah, Long Point, Macquarie Fields, Macquarie Links, Menangle Park, Minto, Raby, Rosemeadow, Ruse, St Andrews, St Helens Park, Varroville and Woodbine.

“Everyone in these areas is asked to be alert for symptoms, to get tested immediately if they appear and then isolate until they receive a negative result,” NSW Health said.

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