New South Wales recorded 13 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with ten of those cases coming from the Crossroads Hotel outbreak.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says there are now 34 cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula in Sydney’s south-west, at least 20 of them patrons.
Authorities also confirmed an infectious traveller from Victoria dubbed ‘patient zero’ sparked the flare-up.
NSW Health contact tracer Jennie Musto told reporters the link between the outbreak with Victoria was a man who travelled from Melbourne to Sydney at the end of June.
The Melbourne man went to a workplace in Sydney, which has since had confirmed cases, before all employees went to a party at the Crossroads Hotel on July 3.
New South Wales recorded 13 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with ten of those cases coming from the Crossroads Hotel outbreak
Residents and business owners being tested at Casula in the vicinity of The Crossroads Hotel where a COVID-19 testing clinic has been set up
‘So this is where it all began,’ Ms Musto said.
Ms Musto said the man travelled between the states on June 30 and worked in the freight industry.
The man was linked to six other colleagues who were also infected with the virus.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro had earlier in the day confirmed genomic testing of the Casula virus found links to a strain from Victoria, where hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are being reported each day.
Victoria recorded 238 new cases on Wednesday.
‘It’s not a virus which has been transmitted through the community because something has occurred here,’ Mr Barilaro told the Seven Network.
Of the ten cases on Wednesday related to the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south-west, six people attended the venue and two were closes contacts of people who attended.
The remaining two cases were already reported cases who got the infection from the Planet Fitness gym in Casula.
The other three new cases were returned travellers, Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed.
Dr Chant told reporters any staff and patrons who attended Planet Fitness between July 4 and July 10 are now considered close contacts.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant told reporters any staff and patrons who attended Planet Fitness between July 4 and July 10 are now considered close contacts
Queensland has declared the Sydney local government areas of Liverpool and Campbelltown (pictured) as COVID-19 hotspots, banning residents or visitors from those areas from entering
However, she said it was important not to lose sight of the fact the infection may have been spread elsewhere in the state.
‘This highlights the rapidity with which COVID can spread, and the importance of us tracing the contacts very quickly,’ Dr Chant said.
‘It’s very important we don’t lose sight that COVID could’ve been introduced in any other part of Sydney … this is a stealthy virus.’
Ms Chant thanked a confirmed case in the Blue Mountains who was tested and a clinician in Liverpool who found a link to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak.
‘They’re actually the heroes…those two actions by that individual and that registrar enabled us to put the puzzle together,’ she said.
Ms Musto said the Melbourne freight worker is not the Blue Mountains man, but that they both attended the Crossroads Hotel on 3 July.
Anyone who visited the Crossroads Hotel between July 3 and July 10 is also being urged to get tested immediately.
Testing has been ramped up in Sydney’s south-west with 3,297 people presenting themselves for testing in the region on Tuesday (a pop-up clinic in Picton pictured)
A general view of the Planet Fitness Gym in Casula, which has closed after a worker tested positive for COVID-19 on July 13
Testing has been ramped up in Sydney’s south-west with 3,297 people presenting themselves for testing in the region on Tuesday.
There are more clinics available at Liverpool Hospital, Campbelltown Hospital, Victoria Park in Picton, Camden Hospital, Narellan Community Health Centre, Bankstown Hospital, Fairfield Hospital and Bowral Hospital.
Dr Chant also named a number of venues where confirmed COVID-19 cases spent time, including the YMCA at Revesby, Wests Leagues Club at Leumeah, Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown and Casula Kmart.
A worker at Woolworths in Bowral has also tested positive to the virus and the store underwent deep cleaning on Tuesday night. The staff member worked at the store on July 12 and was asymptomatic at the time.
A southwest Sydney pizza restaurant, meanwhile, is closing for three days for deep cleaning after a customer tested positive for COVID-19.
Mancini’s Original Woodfired Pizza at Belfield said NSW Health had deemed the case a low risk to staff as the male customer stayed within his group when he was there on Friday.
NSW Health are investigating a potential new cluster after a coronavirus-positive man spent an hour at Mancini’s Original Woodfired Pizza in Belfield, in Sydney’s southwest, on Friday
Police are working with Liquor and Gaming to investigate if Crossroads Hotel breached any guidelines.
All patrons of the hotel from July 3 to 10 must self-isolate and are being urged to get tested.
One of the cases linked to the hotel is a person who visited the Prestons Lodge Advantaged Care nursing home, which has been placed into lockdown.
Dr Chant said other venues across Sydney may have been exposed to the virus between June 27 and July 10 after visits from people linked to the outbreak.
Ms Berejiklian also on Tuesday announced a tightening of restrictions for pubs and hotels, including a cap of 300 patrons and mandatory sign-ins. Those restrictions will come into effect from Friday.
Latest coronavirus facts and figures
* A man and a woman aged in their 80s have died of coronavirus in Victoria, taking the state’s toll to 26 and Australia’s fatalities to 110.
* Victoria recorded 270 new cases on Tuesday, tipping total cases nationwide over 10,000, with 21 people on ventilation in intensive care.
* NSW has 13 new cases and WA one, a 10-year-old boy in quarantine.
* Pubs in NSW will have patrons capped at 300 and must record contact details of every guest with 30 cases now linked to a venue in southwest Sydney. Meanwhile, residents from Liverpool and Campbelltown will be barred from entering Queensland.
* South Australia has cancelled its planned July 20 border reopening with NSW and the ACT.
* Immediate testing will be compulsory for all Victorians as soon as they land in WA, with travellers from NSW potentially next.
* Queensland will up its tough virus laws this week to include a penalty of six months’ jail.
* Australia had only 25,800 overseas arrivals in June, half of whom were returning residents, according to provisional ABS figures.
* The Australian Nursing Federation has urged against AFL matches going ahead at Perth’s Optus Stadium this week, arguing the 30,000-strong crowd risks a WA outbreak.
* The Giants are ready to decamp NSW if the AFL says go, with player Nick Shipley already relocating from his western Sydney home to teammate Shane Mumford’s house.
* AFL clubs could face the prospect of six games in a five-week span in a bid to get through the coronavirus-impacted season.
* The A-league will still play out its 2019-20 season in NSW despite the latest outbreak but has prepared a ‘Plan B’ option to shift clubs to Queensland.
* July 15 – NT to rule on if it will relax border restrictions with NSW.
* July 17 – International arrivals to WA will have to pay for their 14-day hotel quarantine.
* July 17 – NT will reopen its borders with quarantine for people from virus hotpots.
* July 18 – Returning travellers to SA and NSW to pay part of their hotel quarantine bill.
* July 31 – The earliest date Tasmania may open its borders to the mainland after delaying the move, previously planned for July 24
* August 1 – Tentative date for WA to lift all remaining restrictions, except border closures and access to remote Aboriginal communities.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Australia’s total number of cases is now 10,251 with 2308 cases active and 7835 people recovered
* The national death toll as of Tuesday is 110: NSW 49, Victoria 26, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states)
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Cases: at least 12,910,357
* Deaths: at least 569,128
* Recovered: at least 7,116,957
Data current as of 1800 AEST July 14, taking in federal government and state/territory government updates and Worldometer.