Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant is urging NSW residents to help get daily COVID-19 testing rates back above 20,000 ahead of the school holidays starting on September 26.

Dr Chant said authorities are concerned about a drop in testing rates – with 8835 tests conducted in the latest 24-hour reporting period, down from 9316 the previous day.

“It is critical before we become more active and mobile ahead of the school holidays that we drive down those cases of community acquisition to the lowest possible level and if possible achieve no community transmission,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is important that we don’t have complacency.”

NSW recorded seven new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including two linked to the Concord Hospital and Liverpool Hospital cluster.

The new cases also include four in hotel quarantine, with three overseas travellers and one returned traveller from Victoria.

NSW Health said an additional case of a student at Blue Mountains Grammar school had been confirmed. The case will be included in Wednesday’s numbers.

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The school is closed for cleaning and contact tracing is underway.

Meanwhile, a coronavirus scare at the Anglicare-run Newmarch House in western Sydney has been cleared as a false alarm.

Anglicare initially said it was investigating a possible case after the elderly resident tested positive, but later tested negative.

However, further pathological data from NSW Health confirmed the swabs taken from the resident showed signs of the previous infection, and the person was no longer infectious.

“We are all relieved and sincerely appreciate the support received from NSW Health,” Anglicare said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nineteen Newmarch House residents died from COVID-19 when it swept through the facility, infecting more than 70 staff and residents earlier this year.

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AAP

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