NSW Health is no longer listing every COVID exposure site in Sydney now that skyrocketing case numbers have made transmission more and more tricky to track.

Basically, the virus has spread so much around Sydney that not only is it a huge effort to maintain the list, but it’s not even that useful anymore.

“We’re really trying to focus the public’s attention on those where we believe there is a true risk,” Dr Jeremy McAnulty, the Director of Health Protection at NSW Health, said on Tuesday.

“What we’ve learnt is where the infection is most likely to spread. So that’s why we’re focusing on those areas.”

While this is the first noticeable cull of the list since the pandemic started, software developer Ken Tsang – who literally built the COVID-19 Near Me website – noted on Twitter that “the public exposure sites list has never been an exhaustive list”.

We know that 70% of COVID-19 transmissions in NSW over the past two weeks have occurred in the home, as opposed to shopping centres, for example.

“The next highest risk is people visiting a household where there’s a case. The next most concerning place for transmission is a workplace,” Dr McAnulty added.

Meanwhile, he described supermarkets and shopping centres as “quite low-risk settings that we just don’t see very much transmission at all in.”

However, that doesn’t mean contract tracers will be ignoring these venues in Sydney. It just means they won’t be added to the main public list.

The Daily Telegraph reports that both Coles and Woolies have already started advising customers and workers if a confirmed case has been linked to stores which haven’t otherwise been publicly listed by NSW Health.

So basically, those who need to know will still know, while the rest of us will have a more concise list of the more serious exposure sites to stop us from, as Dr McAnulty put it, “getting lost in the detail”.


All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

Image: Getty Images / Jenny Evans