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Australia Positive COVID-19 Sydney man puts NSW South Coast on high alert

10:07  20 september  2020
10:07  20 september  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a store inside of a building: Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club has decided to close for a deep clean. (Facebook: Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club) © Provided by ABC Health Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club has decided to close for a deep clean. (Facebook: Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club)

South Coast NSW businesses say a sense of nervousness is building in the community after a Covid-19 alert has been issued for the region just ahead of the school holidays.

Heath authorities have started contact tracing across several venues after a Sydney-based taxi driver visited the region while potentially infectious with the coronavirus — he tested positive yesterday.

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During his time in the region, the cab driver stopped for meals at three South Coast venues.

NSW Health says anyone who attended the following venues for a least one hour during the following times is considered to be a close contact and is being directed to get tested and isolate for 14 days.

It says they must stay isolated for the entire period, even if a negative test result is received:

  • Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club — September 12, 2:00pm to 6:15pm
  • Carlo’s Italian Ristorante Bar & Seafood, Ulladulla — September 12, 8:00pm to 9:30pm
  • Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill, Mollymook — September 13, 12:30pm to 2:15pm

Voluntary closure and deep clean

Both Carlo’s Italian Ristorante Bar & Seafood and the Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club have made the decision to close as a voluntary precaution.

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The Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club posted on its Facebook page:

"The safety of our patrons and staff is paramount and we have decided to take this preventative action to minimise any risk whilst we complete the deep clean of the Club," it said.

"The COVID-19 exposure and Club closure is disappointing, as we have rigorously followed a comprehensive CovidSAFE plan. This includes strict cleaning regimes and the rostering of CovidSAFE marshals at all times to ensure the implementation of the CovidSAFE plan."

There's been an outpouring of support for the venues on their social media pages.

Meanwhile, Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill says NSW Health has allowed it to stay operational. The venue released the following statement:

"We are working with NSW Health to take the necessary precautions as they undergo contact tracing," it stated.

"The health of our guests, staff and the local community is our top priority. Our venues diligently follow our COVID-19 Safety Plans for the protection of our guests and employees."

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Setback difficult for businesses

Shoalhaven Business Chamber president, Jemma Tribe said the situation was concerning.

"Especially as we are heading into school holidays, we are heading into a busy period on the South Coast," Ms Tribe said.

"And I think on Friday afternoon when we see the traffic building up, there are some collective nerves around the place and hearing news like this doesn't ease those nerves."

Ms Tribe said it was another blow for the local businesses who had suffered so much downturn.

"It's heartbreaking for those venues," she said.

"After a really difficult year, just wanted to get back to bit of normal trade, to have this setback is just really quite difficult for everyone involved."

She said it was a reminder to remain vigilant.

"Understandably, community members are nervous and business owners are nervous as well, but there is also really a sense of needing to stay afloat and being quite desperate for some good trading.

"Community transmission is quite low in NSW, so right now it is about every business doing everything they can … to remain safe, and we just need to continue to be as vigilant as possible."

The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian said as people travelled around the state during the holidays, communities would need to stay alert.

"Enjoy all that summer brings, enjoy all the school holidays brings, but please do it in a COVID-safe way," Ms Berejiklian said.

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