NSW health authorities believe a Melbourne man is ‘likely’ responsible for the outbreak of coronavirus cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel.
Genomic testing has indicated the virus strain emanated from Victoria.
The man, who works for a freight company, is thought to have infected a number of colleagues at his workplace.
It’s understood the man came into NSW on June 30, then to his work office in Sydney. He subsequently attended the hotel with work mates a for staff party on July 3.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant confirmed there are four new cases linked to the outbreak, bringing the total to 34.
There are 13 new cases across the state, of which ten are related to the hotel in south-west Sydney.
Of the ten linked to the Crossroads Hotel, six attended the venue, two involve close contacts and another two are related to the Planet Fitness gym in Casula which is closely associated with the hotel.
The department is urging anyone who visited the gym between July 4-10 to self-isolate and come forward for testing.
“This highlights the rapidity with which COVID can spread, and the importance of us tracing the contacts very quickly,” Dr Chant said on Wednesday.
“It’s very important we don’t lose sight that COVID could’ve been introduced in any other part of Sydney … this is a stealthy virus.”
The Northern Territory has declared Greater Metropolitan Sydney a coronavirus hotspot ahead of reopening its border on Friday.
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.”
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.