NSW records 10 new COVID cases with Hornsby ER staffer infected
NSW recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday night.
The cases, which were detected in 31,681 tests included one returned international traveller and seven close contacts of known cases.
The state recorded two mystery cases with no known links that are still under investigation.
A Tangara School for Girls student is one of today's 10 new cases, and another case is a household contact of the student. There are now three cases associated with the Cherrybrook school.
All students, staff and support staff at Tangara's secondary school have been ordered into self isolation until Friday August 21.
The new figures come amid revelations that a health worker has worked a shift in Hornsby Hospital's emergency department while infectious with COVID-19.
The health care worker attended one shift while infectious, on August 6 from 11am to midnight, the hospital said this morning in a statement.
"The staff member became unwell after their shift and immediately self-isolated and got tested for COVID-19. The staff member had been wearing a mask at all times while in contact with patients," a Northern Sydney health district statement said.
The health care worker is a household contact of another case who was confirmed as positive yesterday.
"Staff who have had contact with the health care worker have been identified and instructed to self-isolate for 14 days. There is no impact on the services being provided by the Emergency Department," the department said.
Members of the public who attended the hospital's emergency department between 11am and midnight on Thursday and had contact with the health care worker were last night being urgently traced and notified.
PARRAMATTA SCHOOL STUDENT POSITIVE
A school in Sydney's west will close for cleaning as it works to find close contacts of a student who tested positive to coronavirus.
Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta sent a note to families on Saturday night that it would move to remote learning on Monday after the positive case.
"The school has been advised by NSW Health that a student attending OLMC has tested positive for COVID-19," it said in the letter.
"The school will be non-operational for the on-site attendance of staff and students to allow time for the school to complete the contact tracing process and have the school cleaned."
The school said that as soon as it had been contacted by NSW Health it began working to find teachers or students who may have been close contacts.
"Students and staff must self-isolate until receiving further advice from NSW Health or communication from the school," it said.
"NSW Health will conduct 'contact tracing' and will notify close contacts and advise them about what they need to do next.
"NSW Health has requested anyone who has been unwell or has flu-like symptoms to be tested at one of the COVID-19 clinics."
SECOND CASE AT TANGARA SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
A second student at Tangara School for Girls who tested positive to COVID-19 is among the 10 new cases recorded last night.
The second case was confirmed on Saturday and the Cherrybrook school remains closed.
NSW Health confirmed that both students were secondary students and tested positive on Friday and Saturday respectively.
All secondary students at the school have been asked to self isolate for two weeks.
PREMIER'S OPEN LETTER TO NSW'S EVERYDAY HEROES
Gladys Berejiklian has penned an open letter to the people of NSW during the pandemic:
"NSW continues to be in a state of high alert, but we are holding the line.
"This has been because of an incredible team effort. Community, business, government all working together. This virus is ruthless: extremely contagious and unpredictable. That's why the next few weeks for NSW are critical. No matter how tough, well organised and well resourced we are, we rely on all citizens doing the right thing, all of the time.
"We also have to appreciate that our geographic proximity to Victoria continues to be a real threat. We have tried to reduce this threat as much as possible, whether it's closing our borders or forcing returning travellers into hotel quarantine.
"Every day we see the latest numbers of new COVID cases from Victoria. This week the numbers have been very worrying.
"We worry whether NSW will follow that path.
"For me there is a regular reminder every night, when the daily tally of new cases in NSW arrives and I get a sense of how our COVID battle is going.
"I know many are worried about their financial responsibilities: their jobs, their homes and the bills they may not be able to pay if things go wrong.
"And we all think about the welfare of all the people closest to us.
"Personally, I worry for my parents. Dad is 88 and mum is 81. Our weekly catch-ups are not the same and I'm terrified to think that just by getting close to them I could make them sick (to be COVID-safe we should all act as if we and other people near us are carrying the virus).
"COVID-19 is bringing unprecedented challenges to our society, and we have asked the community to make sacrifices I would never have imagined: stay at home, not to visit loved ones, not to go on holidays, and some have been told not to work.
"What has struck me again and again is the willingness of NSW residents to listen and to act in the best interest of the wider community.
"The restrictions have been tough on all of us, but our communities have done so much by working together in the common interest, and I am deeply grateful.
"Now, as we face a concerning phase of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that all NSW residents act on this advice.
"The fate of NSW and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people are in all of our hands.
"When the pandemic first hit, we did not know what to expect. It swept quickly across the globe, harming health and causing economic carnage.
"Those hard early weeks of curtailed freedoms under tight restrictions as jobs disappeared in the thousands has taught us what is at stake and what life can be like if this destructive virus is not kept under control.
"So I'm asking the community with even more urgency and concern to please be vigilant! The next few weeks are absolutely critical.
"Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and her amazing team are also concerned and working hard to find and isolate any new cases as they show up.
"We are lucky to have such hardworking people doing what they do, but we all need to do our part to keep the virus suppressed so they have the best chance.
"That means we need to stop everyone from becoming complacent.
"It is sadly no exaggeration to say that when it comes to COVID, complacency could literally be the difference between life and death. Just one person can put the entire state in jeopardy. "If we are not careful, it is not a huge leap to move from around 20 new cases a day up to 200 and beyond.
"However, the troubles faced by our southern neighbours should focus our attention on the huge risk and unimaginable consequences if things go wrong. And it is sadly obvious to me that a minority is becoming too relaxed.
"We see disturbing images of people flouting the laws, and I hear about it during regular briefings from the police about the number of people and companies who are being fined for ignoring the rules and risking the health of their fellow citizens.
"People are becoming especially relaxed around their loved ones and close relatives, often ignoring the rules. Even worse, it's sometimes with elderly relatives, who are most at risk!
"I urge the people of NSW to remember: behind every new case is a person who could lose their life, and behind each job lost to COVID-19 could be a struggling family.
"So I'll finish with this thought: We need to be on guard against this virus 24/7 to beat it … or it will beat us. Neither I, nor the state, can sleep easy until we do.