News Coronavirus Sydney coronavirus outbreak embroils more venues, shops

Sydney coronavirus outbreak embroils more venues, shops

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Three more local venues and a supermarket have been linked to the rapidly expanding COVID-19 cluster at a pub in Sydney’s south-west.

Of the 30 cases already linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, 14 are people who attended the pub.

On Wednesday, the Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown, confirmed one of its patrons had tested positive to COVID-19.

The premises will be deep cleaned on Wednesday but has been told by NSW Health that patrons and staff do not need to self-isolate.

An employee at Woolworths in Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands has also tested positive, the supermarket giant said on Wednesday. The shop was cleaned on Tuesday night.

The staff member worked at the store on July 12 and was asymptomatic at the time.

The ABC is also reporting the Western Suburbs League Club at Leumeah, about 15 kilometres from Casula, has had a patron test positive to the coronavirus.

Mancini’s Original Woodfired Pizza at Belfield, also in south-western Sydney, said it would close for three days for deep cleaning after a customer’s positive test. NSW Health has deemed the case a low risk to staff as the male customer was there for about an hour last Friday and stayed within his group.

Earlier on Wednesday, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro confirmed genomic testing of the virus circulating in Casula found links to a strain from Victoria, where hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are being reported each day.

“It’s not a virus which has been transmitted through the community because something has occurred here,” Mr Barilaro told the Seven Network.

“There is no question the virus has come from Victoria. We don’t know where that’s seeded, we have been doing the contact tracing.”

crossroads hotel virus melbourne
There have been huge queues for COVID testing in south-western Sydney. Photo: Getty

Both Mr Barilaro and Premier Gladys Berejiklian have this week said localised or statewide lockdowns are undesirable and options of last resort.

The intensive care capacity in NSW hospitals had almost quadrupled since the early stages of the pandemic, which has killed 51 people in the state.

“What we need to do is find a way in which we can coexist with the virus,” Ms Berejiklian told ABC TV on Tuesday night.

NSW Health reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with 10 linked to the Crossroads Hotel.

By Tuesday morning, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed a further seven additional cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel.

NSW Health is yet to give an update for Wednesday.

But it earlier confirmed two cases at the Planet Fitness gym in Casula. The department is urging anyone who visited the gym between July 4-10 to self-isolate and come forward for testing.

Both cases, men in their 20s, came forward for testing after it was established an infected person from the Crossroads Hotel had visited the gym.

Police investigating to see if the hotel breached any coronavirus guidelines. Thousands of people who visited the pub from July 3-10  have been told to get tested and self-isolate.

They include at least 18 Queenslanders, confirmed by state Health Minister Steven Miles to have been at the Crossroads in that week. Also on Tuesday, Queensland banned locals from more than 70 suburbs in two south-western Sydney local government areas – Liverpool and Campbelltown – crossing its borders without mandatory quarantine.

One of the cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel is a person who visited the Prestons Lodge Advantaged Care nursing home, which is in lockdown.

Another case worked at the Kmart store in Casula Mall on July 10. Still another is a patron who also visited the Picton Hotel.

Dr Chant said more venues across Sydney might have been exposed to the virus between June 27-July 10 after visits from people linked to the outbreak. They include The Star casino.

On Tuesday, NSW said it would tighten restrictions for pubs and hotels, including a cap of 300 patrons and mandatory sign-ins. The restrictions come into effect from Friday.

-with AAP