On Monday 17 August, NSW Health issued a warning for the whole City of Sydney council area—deeming it to be a COVID-19 hotspot.
It is now recommended that anyone living, working or travelling through the area should wear a mask when in public and avoid hospitality venues where possible. If you've been in the area in the past two weeks and have even the mildest of symptoms, like a runny nose or scratchy throat, you should get tested immediately and self isolate.
The recommendation comes after far fewer daily COVID cases have been reported (three new cases were reported for Monday 17 August, the lowest number in over a month). However, there is growing concern about a number of cases with unknown sources.
NSW Health Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has stated if you are symptomatic, it is now more likely that you have COVID-19 than the flu.
"At the moment we have very low rates of influenza circulating, so if you have... respiratory symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, aches and pains, it is most likely that you have COVID, not the flu," she said.
An official order hasn't been issued by the NSW Government to wear masks, but it is now recommended that you do. We have a list of where you can buy face masks in Sydney here.
Due to the exponential nature of COVID transmission, it's super important to do the right thing, stay informed and follow health advice. You should always opt to stay home if you are unwell.
To help you keep track of which NSW venues, suburbs and regional areas are currently being affected by an outbreak, we'll be updating this live list of coronavirus hotspots regularly. For the most up to date info, you should head here.
What To Do If You've Been At A Hotspot
Some venues and areas are advising immediate testing, others are advising "monitor symptoms". Regardless, if you feel unwell—get tested and self isolate.
- If you have been at one of these venues, suburbs or regional areas within the dates outlined below, it's crucial that you get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
- Whether or not you are symptomatic or your test is negative, you must self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.
- If you get a negative test and start to develop symptoms afterwards, it's advised that you get tested again.
- Similarly, if you are symptomatic and get a negative test result, it's still possible you could have the virus. COVID-19 tests have a relatively high rate of "false-negative" results, meaning your first test could be incorrect. You should get tested again if your symptoms persist or get worse—NSW Health has indicated that if you have respiratory or flu-like symptoms, it is now much more likely that you have COVID-19, and not the flu.
Not sure where to get tested? Here's the official list of all the COVID-19 testing clinics in NSW.
Current NSW COVID-19 Hotspots
If you have been at one of these locations within the outlined times you need to get tested immediately. You also need to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of your symptoms or test results.
- Huskisson, Wildginger, 7.45pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 8 August
- Lidcombe, Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, 5pm on Friday 7 August to 6.30am Saturday 8 August, 4.30pm to 11.30pm on Saturday 8 August, 1pm to 9pm on Sunday 9 August, and 12pm to 9.30pm on Monday 10 August
- Mollymook, Rick Stein at Bannisters, 8pm to 10.30pm on Saturday 1 August for at least one hour
Current "Monitor Symptoms" NSW COVID-19 Hotspots
If you have been at one of the following locations, it's advised that you monitor yourself closely for COVID-19 symptoms. Should you become symptomatic, you should immediately get tested and self isolate.
- Bowral, Horderns Restaurant at Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa, 7.45pm to 9.15pm on Sunday 2 August
- Campbelltown, Bunnings Warehouse, 11am to 7pm on Tuesday 4 August, 8am to 4pm on Wednesday 5 August, 1pm to 3pm on Thursday 6 August
- Castle Hill, Castle Towers Shopping Centre, 3.30pm to 5pm on Friday 7 August
- Cherrybrook, PharmaSave Cherrybrook Pharmacy in Appletree Shopping Centre, 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 6 August
- Concord, Crust Pizza, 4pm to 8pm on Thursday 6 August, 5pm to 9pm on Friday 7 August
- Double Bay, Café Perons, 1pm to 2pm on Saturday 8 August
- Homebush, DFO, 10.45am to 12pm on Saturday 8 August
- Homebush West, Sydney Markets Flemington, 8am to 4pm on Sunday 9 August
- Liverpool, Liverpool Hospital 7am to 3pm on Thursday 6 August, 7am to 3pm on Friday 7 August, 5am to 1.30pm on Saturday 8 August, 5am to 1.30pm on Sunday 9 August
- Liverpool, Westfield Liverpool, 10.30am to 11am and 12.30pm to 1pm on Friday 7 August
- North Strathfield, Woolworths Metro, 12.50pm to 1.15pm on Saturday 8 August
- Parramatta, Parramatta Local Court, 8.30am to 12.30pm on Tuesday 11 August, 8.30am to 12.30pm on Wednesday 12 August
- Parramatta, Westfield Parramatta, 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday 5 August, 12pm to 1pm on Saturday 8 August
- Pennant Hills, St Agatha’s, 6.30 am to 7am on Wednesday 5 August, 6:30 am to 7am on Thursday 6 August
- Penrith, Baby Bunting, 1.15pm to 1.45pm on Saturday 8 August
- Rhodes, IKEA, 1.20pm to 2.20pm on Saturday 8 August
- Rose Bay, Den Sushi, 7.15pm to 8.45pm on Saturday 8 August
- Smithfield, Chopstix Asian Cuisine, Smithfield RSL Friday 31 July to Saturday 9 August
- Wetherill Park, 5th Avenue Beauty Bar, 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 8 August
Current Council Area NSW COVID-19 Hotspots
If you live, work or have visited one of these council areas in the last two weeks, it's advised that you get tested if you present even the mildest of symptoms.
- City of Sydney (East)
- Canterbury Bankstown
- While we will try to keep our list as up to date as possible, NSW Government hotspot updates right here will have the most up to date information and advice.
- For updates on lockdown regulations in NSW, check here.
- If you're looking to buy face masks for when you are out and about, we have a list of local brands selling masks here.
- For more detailed government information about COVID-19, its symptoms and Australian transmission data, please head here.
Image credit: Clément Falize