News Sydney COVID outbreak grows as more pubs linked to new cases

Sydney COVID outbreak grows as more pubs linked to new cases

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A Sydney COVID-19 cluster connected to the Casula hotel keeps growing, as another pub in the area is closed for deep cleaning after a pokie player tested positive.

An alert has also been issued for five more venues visited by Victorians diagnosed with the coronavirus.

NSW logged another 14 new COVID cases to 8pm Sunday, including four people in hotel quarantine, eight linked to the Crossroads Hotel, and two more who picked up the virus in Victoria.

In total, NSW has now recorded 3303 confirmed cases and 51 people have died. More than 10,700 tests were carried out on Sunday.

Four of the Casula cases were reported on Sunday, but that cluster has grown with the addition of a man in his 20s who had dinner at the pub on July 3, plus three more cases who were contacts of previously announced cases.

“None of these cases appear likely to have been the source of infection at the hotel, which remains closed,” NSW Health said in its daily update on Monday, meaning the patient zero for the Crossroads Hotel cluster is still at large.

COVID testing continues at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula. Photo: AAP

The health department is urging anyone who visited the pub between July 3 and 10 to immediately self-isolate for 14 days and get tested, even if they don’t have symptoms. Federal MP Anne Stanley is among those isolating, after she had dinner at the hotel last week.

But the concerning outbreak is spreading, with one case having also visited the Picton Hotel – located 48.6 km further south via the Hume Motorway/M31 –  on July 4, 9 and 10.

That pub is also closed for cleaning, after the person spent time in the venue’s gaming room. Another case attended the Casula Planet Fitness gym, which is also closed for cleaning.

Victorian officials have also raised the alarm after two cases in that state were found to have visited NSW venues earlier this month. NSW Health said those infected people visited:

  • Murray Downs golf club, on July 4 and 5
  • Cook @ Kurnell on July 5, for lunch
  • Highfield, Caringbah on July 5 for dinner
  • Merimbula RSL on July 6, for dinner
  • The Waterfront Café Merimbula on July 7, for breakfast

NSW Health said investigations were underway, but asked anyone who attended the venues at those times to watch for virus symptoms or fever, and to isolate and get tested immediately, if they occur.

crossroads hotel virus
Hundreds of people have been tested at a pop-in COVID clinic in the hotel car park. Photo: AAP

NSW Health confirmed “a number” of Australian Defence Force members are isolating, after attending the Crossroads Hotel, but none have yet tested positive. Up to 12 ADF members are isolating, according to media reports.

The two NSW residents who picked up their infection in Victoria, and since returning, have been isolating and had no close contacts.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to speak later on Monday.

On Sunday, she said the next month was “critical” for NSW and the Sydney COVID response.

The health department is still urging anyone with even mild symptoms, a cold or cough to get tested and isolate until cleared.

“If you have been in Victoria, don’t mix with other people until two weeks has passed,” NSW Health said.