News NSW records no locally acquired COVID-19 cases, another eight in quarantine
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NSW records no locally acquired COVID-19 cases, another eight in quarantine

NSW coronavirus
Both infected families have been moved out of the Adina after the virus spread from room to room. Photo: Adina website
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NSW has recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases after three family members diagnosed with COVID-19 in hotel quarantine picked up the virus from fellow returned travellers.

Authorities raised concerns at the weekend that there may be the possibility of community transmission.

In good news, NSW Health confirmed on Monday that there had been no new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

However, there were eight new infections of the coronavirus acquired overseas.

Health detectives believe the three cases picked up the virus from a family of four who stayed in the adjoining room of the Adina Apartment Hotel at Sydney’s Town Hall.

NSW Health is investigating how the transmission occurred. The first family is believed to have been infectious between April 8-11.

Authorities were tipped off to the transmission after all seven people had the same sequence of the virus, despite arriving from different countries at different times.

The three cases had been reclassified as locally acquired instead of overseas acquired, the government said on Sunday.

All guests on the 12th floor of the hotel, where the families stayed, have been retested and returned negative results. Staff who worked on the floor are self-isolating and being tested.

All seven people have been transferred to special health accommodation, where they will stay until they’re no longer infectious.

NSW has 67 COVID patients, including one in intensive care.

Earlier, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian suggested Australia’s phased rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine could be scrapped, in favour of an open plan because an abundance of spare doses.

Speaking ahead of Monday’s national cabinet meeting, Ms Berejiklian said Australians want a less structured approach to the rollout.

“We should be far less rigid in how we approach the vaccination rollout, given we know that there’s no issue with anyone over 50 having AstraZeneca, and there is quite considerable supply in Australia at the moment,” she said.

“We need to really crack on with it.”

Under the vaccination plan designed by the federal government last year, there are five stages.

Phase 1a and 1b, underway across the country, include aged care, disability, quarantine and health care workers, as well as aged care residents.

Anyone with an underlying medical condition, significant disability, or aged over 70 –  over 55 for Indigenous Australians – is also eligible to receive a jab.

However, medical advice updated earlier this month recommended AstraZeneca – the “workhorse” of the rollout – be scrapped as the preference for people under 50, due to the risk of a rare blood clot disorder.

That has left many states with an abundance of spare doses.

National cabinet will convene on Monday for the first time since agreeing to meet twice-weekly to get the country’s vaccination schedule back on track.

Ms Berejiklian said she was looking forward to advancing discussions about offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over 50 willing to have it.

“In NSW alone, we have two and a half million people over the age of 50 who are eligible to have a vaccine,” she said.

“We do have sufficient supply of vaccine for the next little while.

“I think we can do better.

“I don’t know how long I’ve been saying that NSW is ready to step up.”

-with AAP