News New exposure sites as household contact of Sydney COVID case also tests positive
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New exposure sites as household contact of Sydney COVID case also tests positive

A new, locally transmitted case of the coronavirus has been recorded in Sydney's east. Photo: AAP
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Busy venues, including a David Jones and a National Australia Bank, have been named as exposure sites after a second community COVID case was detected in Sydney.

NSW Health is urgently trying to work out how a man in his 60s, who drives international flight crews to quarantine hotels, caught the virus.

His case was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon. Just hours later, one of his household contacts was also confirmed with the virus, fuelling concerns that NSW might have to reintroduce restrictions ahead of the school holidays.

Both men have visited a string of venues while potentially infectious.

They include Events Cinema at Bondi Junction. Anyone who was at Cinema 1 last Sunday from 1.30-4pm must immediately contact NSW Health and get tested and isolate for 14 days.

NAB and David Jones at Westfield in Bondi, Coles at East Village shopping centre in Zetland, and the Bondi Junction-North Sydney bus route are among nine more venues added on Wednesday night. 

Other exposure sites include Myer and Harry’s Coffee and Kitchen in Bondi Junction, and cafes in Vaucluse and North Ryde.

Locations in the towns of Moree, Forbes, Dubbo, Coonabarabran also remain on the list.

There were no further border restrictions announced as of Thursday morning.

The Western Australian and Tasmanian governments have told anyone who has recently returned from NSW to check the exposure sites, and get tested and isolate if they have been to any of the listed locations.

Queensland is also requiring anyone who has been to one of the sites to get tested and quarantine.

Potential hotel quarantine breach

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee convened on Wednesday to discuss the Bondi case.

It came as NSW Health also investigated a potential hotel quarantine breach, after two cases in adjacent rooms returned identical viral sequencing results.

It’s unclear how and where transmission occurred from a couple to another returned traveller who were all staying on the fourth floor of Sydney’s Radisson Blu quarantine hotel.

Genomic sequencing has shown all three cases have identical viral sequences of the Alpha strain (B.1.1.7), NSW Health said.

radisson blu covid
The returned travellers all stayed on the hotel’s fourth floor. Photo: Radisson Blu

All three arrived in Sydney on the same flight from Doha on June 1 and stayed in adjacent rooms in the quarantine hotel.

The couple tested positive to the virus on day two. The lone traveller was initially negative before testing positive several days later.

All guests and staff who were on the fourth floor of the hotel between June 1-5 have been asked to get tested and isolate pending further advice.

Victoria on alert despite restrictions easing

The state is preparing to ease restrictions from 11.59pm on Thursday, but Victorian authorities are on alert after five new exposure sites were declared on Wednesday night.

It was revealed a positive case went to the movies at Village Cinemas in Crown in Southbank on Saturday night, passed through the complex’s foyer and stopping at the snack bar.

The public toilets at level one of Crown’s food court are another exposure site, as is a petrol station in Pascoe Vale.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said there still might be undetected cases in the community and urged people to keep following virus rules.

“It’s really tough. This is 16 months into a pandemic. There is no question that people are over this,” Professor Sutton said on Wednesday.

Victoria had five new local COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including two linked to a Southbank townhouse complex announced on Tuesday.

Two of the three other new infections are close contacts of people within the Kings Park apartments who previously tested positive for the virus.

It brings the total number of cases at the complex to eight, including a baby.

The other new case was a nurse at Epping Private Hospital, where three COVID-positive Arcare Maidstone aged care residents were previously transferred.

COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said the nurse had received at least her first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and might have been infectious on at least one of two shifts in June.

Nine Epping Private staff have been told to quarantine for a fortnight, while others have been tested and will need to return a negative result before they can work again.

The nurse also worked at the Northern Hospital on June 11 and 12. So far, 22 staff at that hospital have been told to quarantine.

The health department said all other staff in the Northern Hospital’s affected area were being tested.

-with AAP