There will be no fathers’ day visits to aged-care homes in Sydney and on the NSW Central Coast with the facilities to be locked down for two weeks as health authorities say it’s too risky for vulnerable residents.
The growing coronoavirus cluster at the City Tattersalls Club gym in Sydney’s CBD sparked the alert from NSW Health on Friday night.
The cluster which has grown to 14 is concerning authorities as it involves people who travelled from multiple areas in the metropolitan and Central Coast areas.
“As a precaution NSW Health is extending existing visitor restrictions by strongly advising people who live or work in the Greater Sydney metropolitan area and Central Coast to refrain from visiting aged care facilities until 12 September,” the alert said.
That means no visits on fathers’ day on September 6.
“There is currently no evidence of any cases in aged care residents or staff in aged care facilities in NSW. These are precautionary steps to prevent the entry of COVID-19 into this vulnerable setting,” the statement said.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the growing cluster linked to the City Tattersalls Club gym was proof how quickly virus outbreaks can spiral out of control.
“It highlights how quickly COVID-19 can spread in the sense we have a seeding event, its amplification and then that has seeded other workplaces and lead to exposure in the community to a number of venues that we have announced,” she said.
Meanwhile NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has established a committee to crack down on quarantine hotels and security guards after more than 350 guests in mandatory quarantine at Sydney’s Travelodge had to be moved to another city hotel.
“I have set up a new committee that will audit not just the security guards but they will also audit the hotels in terms of the cleanliness and the cleaning, and the sorts of briefings that hotel staff are getting,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
The move came after two security guards contracted coronavirus and Mr Fuller said 12 security guards had already been sacked from the hotel quarantine program.
Anyone who attended the City Tattersalls gym between 8am and 2pm on August 19, 21, 23 or 24 should also get tested and isolate at home for 14 days.
Across the state, 13 new infections were recorded and another four Sydney schools shut on Friday. Only one of the new cases was a returned overseas traveller, with the rest locally acquired.
Dr Chant has meanwhile changed her mind about private school sporting competitions, allowing them to resume from Saturday.
GPS private schools will be able to hold events after rules limiting all sport to public zones were relaxed but they will still have to adhere to strict COVID-safe guidelines, with spectators banned from attending.