Community transmission remains health authorities’ biggest challenge in trying to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. These are the areas where the risk is highest.
Community transmission remains health authorities’ biggest challenge in trying to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. These are the areas where the risk is highest.

Northern NSW town among highest risk coronavirus areas

NSW Health is encouraging anyone with a sore throat, temperature or cough in the Byron Bay region to seek immediate testing after the area was flagged as one with an increased risk of community transmission.

While other community transmission hot spots such as Waverley have almost 200 cases, Byron has only 16, however the tourist destination has the most cases of northern NSW councils.

The Daily Telegraph has analysed NSW's 2897 cases to track where the virus' spread has been greatest.

A sign warning of COVID-19 measures at Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.
A sign warning of COVID-19 measures at Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.

Areas identified by NSW Health as having a high risk of local transmission include Blacktown, Cumberland, Greater Taree (Manning), the Inner West, Lake Macquarie, Liverpool, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Waverley, and Woollahra.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today said anyone from these suburbs with even the mildest symptoms should seek out testing.

"If you live in a suburb we've identified and you think you have symptoms or were in direct contact with someone … please come forward and get tested," Ms Berejiklian said.

"You can have confidence now with the new systems we have in place it will take just a few hours, if through a public system, if you get tested to get the results," she said.

"We have work to do in clamping down on that community to community transmission which is what our health experts are keeping a close eye on."

The Eastern Suburbs has emerged as the largest carrier of the virus among local government areas, with Waverley holding the top position for the past two weeks.

Currently, the wealthy local government area has 177 cases, with 27 of those acquired locally with no known origin.

The metropolitan areas of Waverley, Sydney (154 cases) and the Northern Beaches (152 cases) have accounted for the state's three highest case numbers since March 26.

The Eastern Suburbs cases have grown steadily since the pandemic started. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
The Eastern Suburbs cases have grown steadily since the pandemic started. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

The Central Coast also emerged as a major hotspot for the virus with 115, most concerning in Gosford where 13 people contracted the virus from an outbreak at the hospital last week.

In Sydney's west, Blacktown rose to the highest number of cases with 105.

The Rose of Sharon Childcare Centre contributed to a boost in Blacktown cases earlier this month, after 25 confirmed cases were linked to the school.

Penrith recently had a boost in cases after an outbreak linked to the Newmarch House aged care facility. A nurse unwittingly passed on the virus to five staff and four residents after working five shifts without knowing she was infected with coronavirus.

 

Originally published as NSW towns where transmission has experts worried