Health authorities confirm five new COVID-19 cases

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian provides an update on COVID-19 and TAFE fee-free courses. Picture: Nine News
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian provides an update on COVID-19 and TAFE fee-free courses. Picture: Nine News

Health authorities confirmed five people were diagnosed with coronavirus overnight with one new mystery case under investigation.

That brings the total number of cases in NSW to 3,782 as of 8pm Wednesday night.

There were 28,767 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 19,414 in the previous 24 hours.

Of the five new cases, two are returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine and three, all located in South Western Sydney, are locally acquired.

Those cases include one person who is a household contact of a previously reported case associated with the July funerals cluster, bringing that cluster to 74 cases.

The second case is an outpatient at Liverpool Hospital, as mentioned in on Wednesday. Links to other cases and the source of infection are being investigated.

The final person is a man in his 20s, with the source of his virus under investigation.

NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant said now was "an incredibly critical phase in our response".

"We are seeing these continual low levels of transmission in south-western and western Sydney," she said. "It is critical we continue to see those high testing rates."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated her call from Wednesday for anyone with the mildest symptoms in south-western or western Sydney to get tested straight away.

"We know the virus is circulating in those communities and we want to reduce the number of unknown cases," she said.

"There are still at least a case a day we can't immediately or directly link and it is important we are able to do so to give confidence to ourselves that we are stopping the virus at every opportunity."

Ms Berejiklian also announced a large up-take in people deciding to re-skill and re-train through the government's TAFE fee-free courses program.

"Pleasingly we had 115,000 enrollments in the free Tafe courses we offered and I am pleased to say the highest number of courses that were taken up related to medical administration, which is very relevant given we need more health workers at the moment," she said.

"Pleasingly we have seen a number of people re-skill and boost their CVs to either get new careers, to re-skill in the hope of getting a new job or else thinking about new pathways forward.

"I want to assure the community that in addition to our packages to support small businesses, we are focusing on people who want to re-skill or get re-trained during this time so that once Jobkeeper in particular runs out they are ready and willing to take up new opportunities."

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This story Health authorities confirm five new COVID-19 cases first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.