The COVID-19 death toll in NSW has risen by two, as a number of Sydney beach suburbs and state coastal towns were pinpointed as troublesome coronavirus hotspots.
Two elderly men, aged 85 and 86, died yesterday, taking the NSW death toll to 18 and fatalities nationwide to 37.
NSW Health said the 86-year-old was a resident of the Opal Care Bankstown aged care facility.
His death has brought the number of cases associated with the facility to five, including two residents and three staff.
The 85-year-old man was a close contact of another confirmed case, NSW Health said.
NSW Health reported 57 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 overnight, with the state’s total rising to 2637.
There are currently 40 seriously ill patients in intensive care units, 22 on ventilators.
NSW Health executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty said there were 397 cases in NSW where authorities had been unable to work out how those people had contracted the virus.
Dr McAnulty said although it was “encouraging” cases in NSW appeared to be “stabilising”, he was concerned testing numbers were down.
He also listed out 13 neighbourhoods where health experts had detected worrying signs of community transmission.
The hot spots included Waverley, Woollahra, Dee Why, Manly, Ryde, Macquarie Park, Broken Hill, Lake Macquarie, Manning, Nowra and south Nowra, Byron and Port Macquarie.
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“We want to make sure we have access to testing those areas where there may be some local transmission so we can find people early and make sure they are in isolation and cared for and make sure that their contacts, who may be also at risk of getting infection are aware and also placed in isolation to avoid any ongoing transmission,” Dr McAnulty said.
The Ruby Princess cruise ship, responsible for hundreds of coronavirus cases in Australia, has today docked in Woollongong, south of Sydney, with potentially 200 crew members sick with COVID-19.
Two of those crew members were transported off the ship to a hospital in NSW yesterday.
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During her morning briefing, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced NSW Rural Fire Services boss Shane Fitzsimmons will head up a new state agency, Resilience NSW.
She said the agency would oversee major crises such as COVID, cybersecurity and a “whole range” of things.
There are currently 4500 Australians held in forced quarantine in hotel rooms across Sydney.
But this Wednesday, 200 of them will be set free, after serving out 14 days of self-isolation since arriving home from overseas.
Since the new quarantine restrictions were rolled out by the Commonwealth, 97 international planes have flown back to Sydney Airport.
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