News Coronavirus Sydney suburbs, Hunter towns declared hotspots as virus clusters spread

Sydney suburbs, Hunter towns declared hotspots as virus clusters spread

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The City of Fairfield, in Sydney’s inner-west, has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

It means residents in the local government area and people who have visited in the past 14 days are not permitted to enter the state.

The Thai Rock Restaurant – the initial site of Sydney’s fastest growing coronavirus cluster – is in the LGA.

The directive, which follows similar moves by Queensland for two local government areas in Sydney’s south-west, takes effect from 1am on Monday, July 27.

Earlier on Thursday, the Northern Territory government made the same declaration for Port Stephens, near Newcastle, imposing tight restrictions on anyone travelling from there to the Territory.

The measure requires anyone from the town into mandatory supervised quarantine for two weeks.

“Anyone who arrives on our borders who has been in a hotspot within the last 14 days has two choices,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

“Turn around and go home, or go into a supervised facility like Howard Springs for 14 days, and be charged $2500.

“I know that’s bad news for other Australians, but it’s what needs to happen to keep Territorians safe and that’s my top priority.”

The declarations follow new COVID-19 clusters emerging in NSW, including some involving school children.

The NT previously named the whole of Victoria and the greater Sydney region coronavirus hotspots, but it is allowing free entry to the Territory for people coming from other parts of the country.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed on Thursday that a one-year-old child from the Hunter region was among 19 coronavirus cases identified in the state overnight.

On Thursday, health authorities conducted 24,640 COVID-19 tests – up 50 per cent from the previous week – and detected 19 infections across Sydney and Port Stephens.

Mr Hazzard confirmed one of the new cases was a toddler who attended the Goodstart Early learning centre in Anna Bay, which was closed on Thursday for contact tracing and cleaning.

Another case, he said, was a school-aged student who attended Tomaree Public School in Port Stephens.

The primary school and the nearby Tomaree High School were also closed today for deep cleaning.

The Hunter New England Local Health District also urged anyone who had symptoms and visited the Salamander Bay Square Woolworths after 2.30pm on July 17 to get tested.

Similar advice was extended to any person who visited the Fingal Bay Cafe and Takeaway between 11.30am and midday.

Mr Hazzard praised the enormous spike in testing figures across the state, noting 800 of the 24,640 tests were from Port Stephens, where the last cases were found.

“We all need to be on high alert and not complacent,” he said.

“We should be treating each other as if we all had COVID-19.

“We don’t want to end up in a situation where we have broad-scale transmission.”

toddler coronavirus nsw
A toddler from the Goodstart early learning in Anna Bay has COVID. Photo: Facebook

Both Mr Hazzard and the NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, urged the organisers of a Black Live Matters protest planned for next week to reconsider the public demonstration.

“Now is not the right time to be on the streets and intermingling with each other,” Mr Hazzard said.

The Treasurer said there were “economic consequences” of “poor behaviour” and pointed to the adverse impact as a result of the second wave in Victoria.

Mr Perrottet said the lockdown in Melbourne was costing NSW about $1.3 billion a week.

The other confirmed cases include another three people associated with the Crossroads Hotel cluster in Casula, bringing the total count there to 56.

Another nine cases are linked to the Thai Rock restaurant in Wetherill Park, with the cluster now standing at 46 cases.

NSW Health also said three cases were still under investigation, while another three were returned travellers in hotel quarantine and a fourth was a south-western Sydney resident self-isolating after arriving in NSW.

-with agencies