This follows reports that a man had not initially told authorities he had been in Shepparton, a town in regional Victoria and part of the NSW-Victoria border bubble where the coronavirus outbreak is growing.

Confirmed COVID cases being less than forthcoming with details about their movements while potentially infectious was a problem for both NSW and Victoria, Mr Hazzard said.

Less concerned today: NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.Credit:Jessica Hromas

“We are not interested in any of your personal activities, we are not interested in other legal issues that you might have been involved in,” he said.

“Whether it’s deliberate or whether it’s simply overlooked … you need to make sure you tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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“Be very, very careful in what you are telling public health officials. [They] need to be able to track the chains of transmission. That is impossible if people don’t give us the fulsome information,” he said.

Mr Hazzard said special warnings had been issued to aged care facilities near the border with Victoria.

The three new cases linked to the Lakemba GP cluster were all household contacts of known cases who were in self-isolation, and health authorities expected more confirmed cases would be linked to the cluster in the coming days.

Two other cases were a man in his 70s and a household contact in Bargo, 140 kilometres north-west of Wollongong. A new pop-up clinic has been established at Bargo Community Hall.

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NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the sources of infection of these cases and of the man in south-east Sydney were under investigation.

Dr Chant’s daily report at Thursday morning’s press conference was significantly more sedate than Wednesday’s press conference in which Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned NSW was on the cusp of a massive transmission event.

“I am a little bit less concerned today … My comfort level is going to go up and down,” she said.

Both Dr Chant and Mr Hazzard expressed concern about NSW’s testing rate, with the number of tests performed in the previous 24-hour reporting period dipping below 16,000.

“The fact that we had 15,802 tests today as opposed to more than 16,000 yesterday: it’s quite concerning,” Mr Hazzard said.

On Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian said the government had planned to ease further restrictions this week but held off in light of a higher number of cases. Mr Hazzard said these decisions were being reviewed every day, but there was currently no plan in place.

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Kate Aubusson is Health Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mary Ward is a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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