A Melbourne freight worker who went to a party at a Sydney pub has been identified as the source of NSW’s growing COVID cluster.
A Melbourne freight worker who went to a party at a Sydney pub has been identified as the source of NSW’s growing COVID cluster.

Melbourne freight worker sparked Sydney COVID cluster

A Melbourne freight worker who visited Sydney and attended a party at a local pub has been revealed as the source of NSW's spiralling new cluster of COVID-19 cases which has now grown to 34 people.

This "patient" zero unknowing infected six of his colleagues, pub patrons with concerns it has impacted as many as 19 pubs, clubs and shops

"A man from Melbourne came into a workplace in Sydney. There was some transmission within that workplace and then they all went to a party that night of the third of July at the Crossroads Hotel," NSW Health COVID operations manager Jennie Mousta said.

"This is where it all began," she said.

"The man from Melbourne didn't think he was particularly unwell, didn't think he was sick with COVID. He travelled from Melbourne on the 30th of June.

"He is in the freight industry, he is not a truckie. There are people who are his colleagues (who were infected) who then went to the party. Off the top of my head, I think it's about six (colleagues who are infected)."

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant urged Australians to avoid going to parties, particularly those in high transmission areas like the southwest of Sydney.

"There might have been between one and three people (who were infection at the party)," she said.

"We became a little bit complacent. The riskiest thing we do is party with our group of friends. Because that's when we are not social distancing.

"Don't go to any events if you're unwell. Maybe limit your social gatherings, particularly if you're in those areas of transmission."

 

LARGE NUMBERS TOLD TO ISOLATE

It comes as a growing number of venues are impacted by cases in the Crossroads cluster, with many forced to close their doors and large numbers of people told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Dr Chant said staff and patrons who attended the Planet Fitness Gym in Casula between July 4-10, the Crossroads Hotel between July 3-10 or the Picton Hotel on July 4,5, 9 or 10 must immediately self-isolate for 14 days.

They are also urged to get tested even if they have no symptoms.

Planet Fitness in Casula closed after an infected patron attended between July 4-10: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
Planet Fitness in Casula closed after an infected patron attended between July 4-10: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard

Other venues attended by cases in the hotel cluster are under investigation by NSW Health.

These include the Bankstown YMCA in Revesby, Woolworths in Bowral, Milky Lane in Parramatta, the Bavarian Macarthur in Campbelltown, Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown, West Leagues Club in Campbelltown.

Hurricane's Grill in Brighton Le Sands also closed temporarily until July 17 while the restaurant was deep-cleaned after a confirmed case dined on 11 July.

Authorities are contacting at-risk customers.

 

LIST OF VENUES LINKED TO CLUSTER GROWS

Anyone who attended the venues below on the dates listed do not have to isolate.

However, they should monitor for symptoms, and isolate immediately and seek testing if symptoms develop. For the full list of venues and dates visit NSW Health

 

If you attended any of the following locations on the dates below, watch for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms occur, self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
If you attended any of the following locations on the dates below, watch for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms occur, self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 immediately.

 

If you attended any of the following locations on the dates below, watch for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms occur, self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
If you attended any of the following locations on the dates below, watch for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms occur, self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 immediately.

NSW AT CRITICAL POINT

NSW Health confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, ten of which were linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster, and three in hotel quarantine.

The cases were announced on Tuesday evening after NSW Health changed the way it reports infections.

In addition to the 13 cases, one more infection linked to the Crossroads Hotel was this morning detected, Dr Chant said.

Mr Hazzard said everyone now had a part to play in preventing further outbreaks.

"We are still effectively in a war zone. This is one stealthy virus. It will win any race against us we need to get on top of it," Mr Hazzard said.

 

 

 

The Crossroads Hotel pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Casula. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
The Crossroads Hotel pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Casula. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard

 

NT DECLARES GREATER SYDNEY HOTSPOT

Travellers from Greater Sydney will be forced to spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine at their own expense if they decide to come to the NT from Friday.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner declared the entire Greater Sydney area a hotspot today, just two days out from the reopening of NT's borders.

The decision will be reviewed in two weeks. It comes after a spike in cases in NSW linked to the Crossroads Hotel, located in the southwest Sydney suburb of Casula.

 

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed Victorians have died of coronavirus in the past 24 hours – two overnight and a woman in her 90s this morning.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed Victorians have died of coronavirus in the past 24 hours – two overnight and a woman in her 90s this morning.

 

VICTORIA RECORDS MORE DEATHS

Victoria has recorded 238 new coronavirus cases as the state's death toll reaches 27 with the death of a woman in her 90s.

"I'm not in a position to be able to provide any further detail as to that personal identity - person's identity, but we send our best wishes, our thoughts and our prayers to her family. This will, of course, be a very difficult time for them," Premier Daniel Andrews said this morning.

Mr Andrews warned tougher and longer restrictions were on the cards if people make "poor choices".

"If people do not do the right thing we will have to move to additional restrictions. and potentially prolong where those restrictions are in place," Mr Andrews said.

"The time for warning, the time for cutting people slack is over," he said.

 

 

SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS WOOLWORTHS CLOSED

A Woolworths worker has tested positive to COVID-19 in a Southern Highlands.

In an official statement, the supermarket said a staff member at the Bowral outlet returned a positive test after working in the store on Sunday, 12 July.

The worker did not have any symptoms of the illness at the time and they are now in self-isolation.

The company is working with NSW Health to contact staff members who may have been exposed to the disease.

Woolworths said the risk of transmission to customers and staff "is low" but customers who shopped in the store on 12 July and feel unwell are being urged to present for testing.

The shop was closed for deep cleaning overnight and will reopen today.

PIZZA RESTAURANTS SHUTS AFTER COVID CASE

Belfield restaurant Mancini's Original Woodfired Pizza in Sydney's west has also closed after a man with coronavirus spent an hour at the store on Friday.

NSW Health is now contacting customers who were at the restaurant at the time.

 

Mancini's pizza restaurant in Belfield has had a couple of Covid-19 cases confirmed. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone
Mancini's pizza restaurant in Belfield has had a couple of Covid-19 cases confirmed. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone

Mancini's said everyone in the restaurant at the time had been notified, in a post on Facebook on Tuesday night.

"NSW Health has advised us that we are low risk as the customer was in the restaurant for an hour and stayed within his group," the post said.

"We are choosing to close the doors for three days and have the restaurant professionally deep cleaned."

BATHURST RSL SHUTS OUT SYDNEY RESIDENTS

A popular Bathurst venue has taken the drastic step of shutting its doors to Sydney and Victorian residents, insisting it does not want to "cause any offence."

The Bathurst RSL Club on Tuesday announced it would turn away all visitors from Victoria, Albury, Sydney and the Blue Mountains for the next fortnight in a bid to protect the community from an outbreak.

 

The notice from Bathurst RSL to Sydney residents.
The notice from Bathurst RSL to Sydney residents.

 

In a post on social media, the bar said it had taken the "difficult decision" to revise its entry rules to allow only visitors from regional and rural NSW.

"We certainly do not intend to cause any offence, and we realise this is a difficult message, but we feel we have a responsibility to implement these measures to best protect our members and staff in these uncertain times."

TWO MORE CASES AT CASULA GYM

The Casula Crossroads Hotel outbreak grew to 30 cases on Tuesday night with the discovery of two new infections linked to the Planet Fitness gym.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant on Tuesday as the outbreak worsens. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant on Tuesday as the outbreak worsens. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Two men in their 20s came forward for testing after a case from the Crossroads was found to have visited the gym, which has now been shut for deep cleaning.

Anyone who visited the gym from July 4 to July 10 should self isolate and get tested immediately.

"We now have three confirmed cases associated with this gym and we are identifying the close contacts of these new cases to ensure they are also isolating and getting tested," Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

PREMIER PRAISES 'REALLY SMART' PHYSICIAN

Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday praised the "really smart" physician from NSW Health who connected the dots between two separate cases in the community and first linked the outbreak to the Crossroads pub - protecting the state from a catastrophic spike in community transmission.

"I'm not sure if this has been discussed in public but I want to congratulate the really smart physician who found the initial link between two cases in very different suburbs who were then linked to the Crossroads Hotel," Ms Berejiklian said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says a very smart doctor saved NSW from a worse outbreak. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says a very smart doctor saved NSW from a worse outbreak. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

"That was really smart detective work in a matter of hours who allowed us to then take the action we have. This is the kind of detective work that goes on every day in New South Wales," she said.

"If you don't get to one person and that creates a new strain and that pops up somewhere else in a month, that could also result in thousands of new cases."

Local resident Amreen Khan attends The Crossroads Hotel Pop up Covid 19 testing clinic in Casula. Picture: Gaye Gerard
Local resident Amreen Khan attends The Crossroads Hotel Pop up Covid 19 testing clinic in Casula. Picture: Gaye Gerard

AUSTRALIA'S COVID CASES REACH 10,000

Nationally Australia has hit the tragic milestone of 10,000 coronavirus cases, with only 4 per cent of cases this week coming from overseas.

A total of 284 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Australia yesterday, with almost 44,500 tests conducted in the 24 hour period.

Ms Berejiklian said people must accept that coronavirus cases will continue to grow.

"Are we going to have more cases as restrictions have eased? Of course we are," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We need to know we are living with this for a long time, and cumulatively cases will increase," she said.

 

 

Originally published as Melbourne freight worker sparked Sydney COVID cluster



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