NSW sees biggest COVID surge in months
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced another 20 cases of coronavirus overnight, most from community transmission.
Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Monday the increase - the biggest the state has seen in months - had left her "incredibly concerned", but was gladdened every case had been tracked to a known source.
Residents are now being urged to wear masks where they cannot socially distance, and to reconsider going anywhere where there are large crowds.
"We know our state continues to be at a critical point," she said.
"We have the opportunity to isolate the cases that we have, to clamp down and make sure we reduce the incidents of the virus spreading … unfortunately other places don't have that opportunity."
Ms Berejiklian said the next few weeks would be "critical" in deciding the fate of NSW.
"Please consider avoiding crowds," she said.
"If you cannot guarantee social distancing where you're going, if you cannot guarantee people around you will respect that social distancing, you must wear a mask."
The last time NSW had an increase this big was on April 19, where 21 people were diagnosed.
"The next few weeks are absolutely critical for New South Wales," she said.
"Under the circumstances we're holding the line... we're doing okay - but it hasn't reduced my level of concern."
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said of the 20 new cases, three are linked to Crossroads Hotel cluster in Casula, eight are linked to the Thai Rock restaurant cluster in Wetherill Park, four with the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club.
Only four cases are from hotel quarantine.
One person, aged in their 30s, is currently receiving treatment in intensive care.
Ms Chant said a mask would not be a "silver bullet" against coronavirus, but part of an effective tool set to fight the virus, which also includes social distancing and proper hygiene practices.
The Premier praised high weekend testing rates before warning those told to isolate they must spend the full 14 days alone.
"If you've been told 14 days, you have to stay home for 14 days," she said. "You may very well develop the disease and become contagious on day three, or four or five."
More to come
Originally published as NSW sees biggest COVID surge in months