Queensland has confirmed that if NSW records a single case of locally acquired COVID-19 then it will be back to square one in its quest to have the Queensland border re-open.
NSW has chalked up 11 consecutive days with no community transmission but the Queensland premier has set a benchmark of 28 straight days of zero transmission before the border re-opens.
If that happens the border will be open on November 1, the day after the Queensland election, but Annastacia Palaszczuk says the two events are not related.
When asked if a single case of community transmission in NSW would see the count in NSW restart, she said it would.
“That’s my understanding, according to the chief health officer – yes,” she told ABC TV on Wednesday.
On Tuesday a frustrated NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she doubted NSW could go 28 days without a single infection.
“Does that mean that they’ll open the borders and we’ll get a case and they’ll close again? You can’t live like that,” she said.
Meanwhile NSW Health’s Christine Selvey on Tuesday urged people with symptoms to get tested, particularly in the Hawkesbury and southwestern Sydney areas, after sewage surveillance detected the virus at the North Richmond and West Camden treatment plants.
The most recent cases in the West Camden catchment were reported last month but no one living in the North Richmond catchment had recently tested positive.
“Virus fragments in sewage can mean active cases but people can continue to ‘shed’ virus genetic material for some weeks after recovery,” Dr Selvey said.
There were 5385 tests conducted in NSW in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 4789 the previous 24 hours.
NSW Health maintains at least 8000 people should be tested every day.
NSW Health is treating 50 COVID-19 cases, including three in intensive care, none of whom are being ventilated.