The Bondi Icebergs and a hotel in Circular Quay in Sydney’s CBD are the latest venues added to the list of coronavirus exposure sites in New South Wales.
It follows the confirmation of a third CBD case — and authorities are worried the containment of the outbreak to Sydney’s northern beaches might be faltering.
“We are concerned about people who may have been infectious who went to work in the CBD and then have passed that onto other people in the CBD and those people have then passed it on in their communities,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday.
“They are all eventually linked to the Avalon cluster, but it does mean that there is potential transmission that we are not on top of — and that is a concern.”
What do we know so far about the three CBD cases?
The latest CBD case is a man in his 40s who worked in an office within the vicinity of Hunter and Bligh Streets while infectious.
The man joins a case who attended the Paragon Hotel’s sports bar, 500 metres down the road — but the source of both of those infections is not known.
Already a case linked to the Paragon Hotel has been confirmed, bring the total CBD cases to three.
The infections are similar in strain to the northern beaches infections but contract tracers are yet to establish the “link”.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said they were investigating whether someone took the virus to the city before the lockdown.
“What we are concerned about is that people from the northern beaches travel out of the northern beaches and they may have unknowingly travelled, as many did prior to … this outbreak [occurring],” Dr Chant said.
Who needs to be on alert in Sydney?
Anyone who has been in the north-eastern part of the city including the Australia Square, MLC Centre and Chifley Square has been told to get tested if even the mildest symptoms occur.
“The action we are requiring is that if you have been in this area of the CBD, get tested,” Dr Chant urged symptomatic people yesterday.
Dr Chant said the Paragon Hotel was among the venues they were most concerned about.
One of the mystery cases reported yesterday went to the sports bar of the hotel on Loftus Street between 12:45pm to 3:30pm on December 16.
Anyone who was there for more than one hour is considered a close contact and must get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of their result.
A CBD case also visited Bondi Icebergs — an ocean pool, restaurant, cafe and bar in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, NSW Health confirmed in a statement.
“Anyone who attended the pool deck area of Bondi Icebergs on Sunday 20 December between 8:00am and 9:30am and/or Monday 21 December between 7:00am and 8:00am are asked to get tested immediately and self-isolate,” a spokesperson said.
Despite a record 60,184 tests conducted yesterday, up from 41,865 the day before, the Premier said: “we are far from out of the woods”.
“In fact, we have to be extra vigilant over the next few days,” she said.