National

NSW works to end virus transmission chains

By AAP Newswire

Victorians trying to enter NSW have been issued a stern warning while health authorities work to track down and end the chains of COVID-19 transmission across the state.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant reiterated the "critical" phase the state was in as it responds to an increase in coronavirus cases and the outbreak in Victoria continues unabated.

Dr Chant said health authorities were focusing on bringing an end to the current chains of transmission across NSW by detecting cases early and ensuring people are isolating if necessary.

"It is critical you maintain your social distancing and also that you wear a mask if you're going into situations where you're not going to be able to maintain that 1.5 metres," she told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard responded to concerns Victorians were arriving with minimal scrutiny by insisting the processing at the airport and the border was "extremely tight".

Passengers undergo comprehensive police and health checks upon arrival including having their temperature checked and to ensuring their permit complies with the rules in place.

The information they provide is cross-checked with a formal piece of evidence such as a driver's licence.

Anyone who tries to enter NSW without a valid permit is referred to police, taken to hotel accommodation run by NSW Health, or turned back.

"The short message to Victorians is you shouldn't be coming to NSW unless you have a particular permit entitlement," Mr Hazzard told reporters.

But he stressed the system was working well.

"We've had incredibly good compliance," he said.

This was echoed by NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Scott Whyte, who said 20 people had been refused entry at the border in the past 24 hours.

"If you do not have a permit, do not come to NSW," Mr White said.

Meanwhile, Bonnyrigg High School and Greenway Park Public School in southwest Sydney were closed on Tuesday after three students were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The schools are closed for deep cleaning and contact tracing, and students have been advised to self-isolate.

NSW Health on Tuesday requested anyone linked to the schools who was unwell or had respiratory symptoms to get tested for COVID-19.

The three infected students were associated with the Mounties Club cluster in Mount Pritchard.

NSW recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases from 12,876 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday. One case is in hotel quarantine and none are from an unknown source.

Six COVID-19 patients in NSW are in intensive care and five are ventilated.

NSW Health said the Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster now numbered 103, while the cluster at Potts Point in inner Sydney numbered 28.

"It is important to reiterate that while most cases in the past week have been associated with local clusters and close contact with known cases, some have not been linked, representing unknown chains of transmission," Dr Chant said in a statement.

She urged anyone in isolation to observe the full 14 days self-quarantine as "early testing may not detect an infection".

The NSW government has strongly recommended people wear masks in high-risk situations, with Premier Gladys Berejikilian saying she doesn't leave home without one.

She urged public-facing workers, worshippers, people living near community clusters and those in enclosed spaces to wear face masks, but stopped short of making it compulsory.