Cluster maps released by NSW HJealth show the spread of coronavirus in the state. Picture: NSW Health
Cluster maps released by NSW HJealth show the spread of coronavirus in the state. Picture: NSW Health

Map reveals NSW virus cluster spots

The areas in NSW hardest hit by the deadly coronavirus have been revealed by NSW Health as the nation braces for a stage three lockdown.

The maps, released on Wednesday, come as the toll for confirmed cases in the state reach more than 1029. An additional 211 cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

The latest figures are as of 8pm March 24. 67,148 cases have been tested and excluded.

500 of those confirmed cases were acquired overseas, 279 are under investigation, 176 are locally acquired from contact of a confirmed case and/or in a known cluster, while 74 cases are locally acquired with the contact not identified.

New South Wales also received its first cases of COVID-19 in children under 10 years old with a two-month-old boy and a seven-year-old girl testing positive. The two children are unrelated and the cases are separate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned even tougher measures could soon be in place in the hardest hit areas struck by the pandemic.

The cluster maps show a high number of cases in the Sydney Metropolitan Region and Hunter New England region, which stretches from Newcastle up to the Queensland border. The area has more than 70 cases of COVID-19 in the region, including two children under 10.

It comes as an emergency alert has been issued due to the QLD/NSW border restrictions beginning at 12.01am Thursday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned residents the NSW government was planning to implement mobile phone tracking technology, similar to a model based in Singapore, to help catch those breaking the rules.

Coronavirus hot spots in NSW.
Coronavirus hot spots in NSW. NSW Health

She reiterated there should be no social gatherings at homes unless they were with immediate family members.

"I want to stress again that this is a time that we all need to step up," Ms Berejiklian said.

The maps show a high cluster along the coastline of the eastern seaboard towards Sydney, with less cases further inland.

Six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Western NSW Local Health District (LHD), bringing the total to 21.

Confirmed cases have been reported in the Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Dubbo, Mid-Western and Orange local government areas.

On Sunday, a 41-year-old man who recently returned home from a trip abroad tested positive in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Across the Sydney Metroplitan Region, South Eastern Sydney has 81-160 cases, Northern Sydney has 41-80 cases. Western Sydney, Sydney and South Western LHDs have 21-40 cases. Northern NSW, Nepean, Blue Mountains and Central Coast LHDs have 11-20 cases each.

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Picture: NSW Health
Picture: NSW Health

Across the Sydney Metropolitan region, South Eastern Sydney and Northern Sydney are among the suburbs with the highest confirmed cases, with South Eastern Sydney topping the chart at 292 cases. Northern Sydney is a fraction behind at 209 cases. Of the 10543 tests undertaken in South Eastern Sydney, just 2.7 per cent have returned a positive reading.

The Nepean Blue Mountains and Central Coast have 11-20 cases each.

Picture: NSW Health
Picture: NSW Health

Among the locally acquired COVID-19 cases in NSW with an unknown source of infection, Hornsby, located on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, was equal to Sydney with the highest number of cases, between 5-9. Northern Sydney also ranks highest for the amount of tests undertaken at 12550.

There are currently 10 COVID-19 cases in Intensive Care Units and of those cases, only four require ventilators at this stage.

NSW's Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said many of the new cases were linked to the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, the Ruby Princess.

Yesterday, a woman in her 70s who contracted the virus on the ship became the seventh coronavirus-related death in NSW. The national toll currently sits at 8.

Approximately 2,700 passengers departed the ship at Circular Quay last week and since then, more than 100 have tested positive.

The Sydney Church of Christ service on 8 March at Ryde Civic Centre attended by more than 300 people now has 13 positive cases. Identified close contacts are in self-isolation.

There has been one new confirmed case in both the Quakers Hill and Bankstown Opal Care facilities. NSW Health is following up all close and casual contacts of both confirmed cases and both facilities are in lockdown.

Cluster map cluster map. Picture: NSW Health
Cluster map cluster map. Picture: NSW Health

NSW Police will be cracking down on companies and individuals who ignore strict coronavirus lockdown measures, with authorities given the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $5000 from midnight tonight.

Police Minister David Elliott announced Wednesday that officers will be able to issue individuals a $1000 fine for not self-isolating, with corporations facing a fine of $5000 if they remain open despite Tuesday night's "stage 2" announcement.

Police also said people could be jailed for up to six months for disobeying restrictions.

Mr Elliott said the measures would send the message that it was taking all precautions extremely seriously.

"We need to kill this virus before it kills us," he said.

Cases locally acquired by local government area – contact not identified. Picture: NSW Health
Cases locally acquired by local government area – contact not identified. Picture: NSW Health

Ms Berejiklian stressed that despite the high number of cases, the number of those hospitalised is "still relatively small and that's how we want to keep it".

Despite the surge in cases in NSW, the Premier assured the state had "some" control over the pandemic due to the high cluster of cases surrounding overseas travel and the Ruby Princess.

"That tells us to an extent that we are maintaining some control over the virus," Ms Berejiklain said.

Mr Morrison addressed the media late yesterday to announce further social distancing measures would need to be taken to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The fresh measures include the shuttering of beauty salons and strict limits on the amount of people who can attend weddings and funerals, as well as further indoor group exercise activities that are now not allowed.

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Originally published as Map reveals NSW virus cluster spots

Picture: NSW Health
Picture: NSW Health