NSW's chief health officer has cautioned against laying blame over a COVID-19 outbreak at a western Sydney aged care home where 16 residents have died so far.
The coronavirus-hit Anglicare-run Newmarch House on Tuesday recorded three new cases among staff and the death of a 16th resident who was infected with the virus.
Dr Kerry Chant says two aged care workers had been confirmed to have COVID-19 on Monday night while Anglicare on Tuesday morning confirmed a third case.
The latter worker had operated solely in the facility's coronavirus-positive ward.
The death of the 16th Newmarch House resident follows the death of a male resident on Monday, taking the NSW COVID-19 death toll to 46.
Thirty-seven of the 100-odd residents at the facility near Penrith have tested positive to the virus.
"Clearly there have been no cases amongst residents recently. What we've been observing is that our intensive screening of staff has actually picked up cases, and that's what we actually want to do," Dr Chant said.
"It's really important we don't blame anybody in this circumstance."
Anyone in NSW with respiratory symptoms should seek COVID-19 testing, Dr Chant said.
Three new coronavirus cases were announced on Tuesday in NSW: the two Newmarch House workers diagnosed on Monday and a health worker in the Nepean-Blue Mountains district who did not work while infectious.
Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck on Monday said discussions were under way with some Newmarch House residents' family members to remove them from the facility.
He said it could be eight weeks before the facility is coronavirus-free.
Meanwhile, the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess begun its third day of hearings on Tuesday to help uncover the missteps of the ill-fated cruise ship linked to more than 20 coronavirus deaths and 600 infections across Australia.
The first two sittings included witness testimonies from the cruise ship's doctor Ilse Von Watzdorf and the hotel manager on board, Charles Verwall.
NSW Health senior epidemiologist Kelly-Anne Ressler was reduced to tears on Tuesday after it was suggested there had been a "reprehensible shortcoming" by the department when the cruise ship's passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney.
The hearings will continue to run on Wednesday and Friday.
NSW has recorded 3035 COVID-19 cases to date, with 13 currently in intensive care.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday pleaded with the state's residents to continue adhering to social distancing as economic restrictions are gradually lifted.
The national cabinet of the prime minister and state and territory leaders will this week consider easing restrictions.
"When the restrictions were in place, we made sure we upscaled the health system to make sure we could cater for any additional cases, especially as we go through the winter months and especially as we increase the level of testing and as restrictions are starting to ease," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We know that whenever there's greater activity, there's a likelihood of more cases, which is fine so long as you can manage them, and the healthcare system can manage them."
Australian Associated Press