A locally acquired case of COVID-19 has been detected in Sydney.
It is NSW’s first local virus infection in nearly a month, and was confirmed by health authorities on Wednesday afternoon.
The man, in his 60s, is an airport driver who transports international flight crew. He lives in Sydney’s east.
His first positive test was on Tuesday, followed by a second on Wednesday. The source of his infection has not yet been found.
NSW Health has released the first exposure sites, which include a cinema at Westfield Bondi, David Jones Bondi and cafes in Vaucluse and Bondi Junction. More sites are expected to follow.
Wednesday’s developments came as the department 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.
“At this stage we still don’t know if it happened on the plane, transporting from the plane to the accommodation, at the accommodation or whether it was just a coincidence,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said earlier on Wednesday.
The couple, who were asymptomatic, tested positive to COVID-19 on a routine day two test on June 3, NSW Health said in a statement.
The other returned traveller returned a negative day two test on June 3, before subsequently developing symptoms and testing positive for COVID-19 following a test on June 5.
The three cases were transferred from the Radisson Blu to the Special Health Accommodation, where they remain.
All three arrived in Sydney on the same flight from Doha on June 1 and stayed in adjacent rooms in the quarantine hotel.
NSW Health said there was no evidence of further transmission.
“Out of an abundance of caution, all returned travellers who were on the same floor of the Radisson Blu hotel between June 1 and June 5 and were subsequently discharged are being contacted and asked to get tested and isolate at home pending further advice from NSW Health.”
All staff who worked on the fourth floor of the hotel between June 1 and June 5 have been asked to get tested and isolate pending further advice.
Meanwhile, NSW Health said it had administered a record 17,223 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, including 6048 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.
The total number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in NSW is now 1,737,557.