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Sydney’s northern beaches are no longer considered a hotspot for the coronavirus after residents endured weeks of lockdown during the holiday period.

Australia’s health director Dr Paul Kelly revoked the definition of a hotspot today after thousands of people were ordered to stay home and many to spend Christmas alone and in isolation.

“Today, I revoke that definition of a hotspot on the basis of the fantastic work that has been done, of course, mainly by the community in taking note of the public health orders and lockdown measures that have occurred there over the past weeks. ” Dr. Kelly said.

Previously, only one new case of locally transmitted coronavirus was reported in New South Wales overnight.

The boy is a family contact from a previously reported case, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Six cases were registered in hotel quarantine. There were 20,664 tests statewide overnight.

NSW Health Director Dr. Kerry Chant said NSW must increase testing levels to more than 20,000 over the next 24 hours.

“I particularly urge people in the Greater Western Sydney area to encompass all of Southwest Sydney, those areas of Liverpool, Fairfield, Bankstown and those areas in West Sydney,” said Dr Chant.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian updates the media on COVID-19. January 13, 2021. (9News)

“It’s critical that we have those high test rates to make sure we track down any unrecognized transmission chains.”

NSW Health posted an alert last night for the Groomsman Barber Shop in Warriewood Square on Sydney’s North Beaches.

Anyone who visited the site from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm on January 6 is now considered a casual contact of a positive case and should be tested immediately.

The testing clinic in West Sydney looks almost empty. (9News)

Mount Druitt Cases Linked to the Berala Cluster

A man who presented to the Mount Druitt Hospital emergency department and was diagnosed with COVID-19 has been linked to Berala’s group.

The man’s partner also tested positive, and genomic tests linked their cases to Berala. His diagnoses were announced earlier this week.

However, Dr. Chant said that while genomic tests showed the same strain, health officials are missing a link.

City shoppers observe new rules on wearing masks in busy commercial areas, on Castlereagh Street, Sydney, on January 12, 2021. (Jessica Hromas)

“But despite the fact that we have that genomic link to the Berala group, we have not identified a point where that person has crossed paths with someone known to have COVID,” said Dr. Chant.

“It means that we are currently extensively testing what we call ‘upstream contacts’, a broad network, to try to find any missing links in those transmission chains.

“So I just want to extend my thanks to that person and their extended family, and also to other settings where we are doing that contact tracing.”

Avalon and Berala Clusters ‘Cleanup’ Could Take Weeks

Dr. Chant said it could be “at least three, maybe four, weeks” before the two Sydney groups are fully under control.

“The more we can adopt those safe practices for COVID, those practices of wearing masks indoors, getting tested as soon as possible with the slightest symptoms, maintaining that physical detachment, all of this will mean that even if we don’t recognize a case, the less likely it is. that is transmitted to several people “.

Dr. Chant said NSW Health continues to monitor the situation and could not say when the restrictions will be eased again.

“As an epidemiologist, we like to see about two incubation periods before we assess that we are disease free,” she said.

“But I urge everyone, please do not be pleased with the lower numbers. It is almost time to redouble our efforts as we try not to get a community broadcast as soon as possible.”

Restrictions that will remain despite the vaccine.

Ms Berjiklian cautioned that as a vaccine is rolled out in Australia over the next several months, safe practices for COVID will remain in place.

“Just because some people in the community, whether it’s a small number or a larger number, have the vaccine, it doesn’t mean the rest of us can relax. Quite the opposite,” he said.

“We have to stay safe from COVID for a while longer when the pandemic can be considered to be over.

“We don’t know when that end date is. But we have to learn to live with the virus, which is what I think we are doing in NSW.

“We don’t want our citizens to have to bear an additional burden or stress one more day than they have.”

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