A woman in her 80s has died from coronavirus in New South Wales, taking the national death toll to 361.
The woman from western Sydney died in intensive care in hospital on Wednesday, taking the NSW death toll from COVID-19 to 53.
Her case is linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon church cluster, and is the first in the state for nearly two weeks after an 83-year-old man linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in Casula died on August 1.
Health officials reported 12 new cases of coronavirus in the state on Thursday, after 24,621 tests.
Three of the 12 new cases are from an unknown source, with five from returned overseas travellers and four linked to known outbreaks.
The woman’s death comes as an outbreak at the Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook in Sydney’s north-west reached 19 cases.
The source of the outbreak is still unknown.
NSW Health are treating 135 coronavirus cases across the state, with seven patients in intensive care and six on ventilators.
Westfield Liverpool has been put on high alert after a person with coronavirus attended the shopping centre on August 7.
The infected person was in the centre between 10.30am and 11am and 12.30pm-1pm, before also attending 5th Avenue Beauty Bar in Wetherill Park on August 8 from 2pm-3pm.
NSW Health have advised anyone considered to be casual contacts of the case during the time periods to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and if symptoms develop self-isolate and seek testing.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday warned the state’s relative control of the virus ‘couldn’t be assured’ after 18 new cases were recorded.
She also re-issued a plea for people to wear masks in public and for businesses to comply with COVID-19 regulations to stem the spread of the disease.
The consistent number of new and unsourced infections had stoked fears New South Wales was teetering on the brink of a Victoria-style coronavirus crisis as infections rapidly spread through popular shopping destinations including IKEA and Westfield.
An alarming new map illustrates how widespread cases in Sydney have become, although the number of confirmed infections pale in comparison to those in Victoria.
Only one of NSW 18 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday was linked to an overseas traveller in mandatory hotel quarantine, with two more arriving in the state from coronavirus-riddled Victoria prior to testing positive.
But the other 15 cases are either under investigation or linked to previously identified clusters, which are as far reaching as the state’s south coast and Newcastle in the north.
Ms Berejiklian warned harsher restrictions were on the cards if locals did not comply with COVID-19 safety measures.
‘Whether it’s school extracurricular activity, which shouldn’t occur, whether it’s the recommendation for people to wear masks when they can’t guarantee social distancing on public transport or in supermarkets, or it’s the way in which we’ve asked businesses to approach a COVID-safe environment, compliance is absolutely critical,’ she said.
Warnings were issued on Wednesday for Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Westfield Parramatta and IKEA in Rhodes after people with confirmed COVID cases passed through the venues.