Australia Sydney COVID-19 cluster grows to nine

12:05  20 june  2021
12:05  20 june  2021 Source:   9news.com.au

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Shoppers wear masks as they walk around a shopping precinct in Sydney, Australia © (AP Photo/Mark Baker) Shoppers wear masks as they walk around a shopping precinct in Sydney, Australia

NSW has recorded two locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, one of which was announced yesterday morning.

NSW Health has also been notified of two new locally acquired cases overnight.

These cases will be included in tomorrow's numbers. Sydney's COVID cluster in total has risen to nine cases.


One of today's new community cases was announced yesterday as a man in his 30s who lives in the Sydney CBD but had attended Westfield Bondi Junction, who has also spent time in the Wollongong area.

Sydney cluster grows by two cases

  Sydney cluster grows by two cases New South Wales has recorded two new coronavirus cases as Greater Sydney prepares for more restrictions to be announced in the wake of the growing cluster. A woman aged in her 40s who lives in the Bondi Junction area has tested positive for the virus, who regularly walks through the Westfield shopping centre where an infected man visited on June 12 and 13. 'The issue that has become apparent in the course of the last few days as that this particular delta virus is a near and present danger,' Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in a press conference on Saturday morning.

The second case is a household contact of this man, a woman in her 30s who had also visited the Westfield in Bondi Junction.

The two other new cases which will be recorded in tomorrow's figures are two people from the Sutherland Shire, both close contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Gladys Berejiklian wearing a costume: Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaking today. © 9News Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaking today.

However, Dr Chant warned that they may not have been isolating for all of their infectious period and further exposure sites in relation to these cases will likely be announced.

One is a woman in her 50s who is a family contact of a previous case and the other is a man also in his 50s who had been in isolation after visiting an exposure site.

Health authorities believe the man was likely infected during a short exposure at a Salvation Army shop but investigations are still continuing as to exactly how he was exposed.

Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak grows to 11

  Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak grows to 11 COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney will likely be extended as an outbreak in the city reaches a 'critical phase' and people are urged to curtail their movements. Two new locally transmitted cases have been recorded in NSW, taking Sydney's eastern suburbs COVID cluster to 11.Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says it's an 'optimistic sign' the pair are both close contacts of previously reported cases and tested positive while in isolation.The woman in her 50s from Sydney's north and the man in his 30s from the eastern suburbs were both diagnosed after the 8pm cut off and will be included in Tuesday's numbers.

READ MORE: More Sydney COVID-19 alerts after new cases

NSW's mask restrictions broadened

The new cases have prompted the premier to extend the compulsory wearing of masks when catching public transport, with the law now applying to everyone in the Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.

Several of the recent new cases have been detected in those areas.

"Even though they are directly linked to the eastern suburbs cases, we are concerned there may have been spread in the community," Ms Berejiklian.

EXPLAINED: Sydney's mask restrictions explained

It comes after masks were made compulsory for all of Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, on Friday.

"It is important for all of us to be on high alert, no matter where we live," Ms Berejiklian said.

In addition, seven councils at the centre of the outbreak in Sydney will be required to wear masks at all indoor public settings.

Australia: New Cluster Identified at Sydney

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READ MORE: 'Great failure': Health expert slams handling of Australia's vaccine rollout

This includes hospitality workers, retail shopping and any other indoor activity that doesn't involve eating and drinking.

"At this stage, we didn't want to make the decision to have compulsory mask wearing across all Greater Sydney but if the situation changes overnight, that is an option we will have to consider," Ms Berejiklian said.

The premier has urged more NSW residents to remain vigilant in following restrictions and in coming forward for testing.

"I know all of us are a bit fatigued after so many months of living with COVID but we can't drop now," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We have to make sure we aren't complacent and make sure we are complying to what we are asking you to do. Please, we don't want to extend further restrictions unless we must."

READ MORE: Brisbane on alert after new COVID-19 case detected


Residents are being asked to follow the new restrictions immediately, but they will be legally enforced from 4pm.

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The mask rules are scheduled to be lifted on Thursday.

The compulsory use of masks indoors won't apply within school, Dr Kerry Chant has confirmed.

"If any parents would like to have their child wear a mask, it has been the usual practice that that has not been opposed and supported," she said.

READ MORE: Sydney testing sites extend hours as COVID-19 exposure sites rapidly grow

Seven Sydney local government areas where masks are now required indoors:

  • Randwick
  • Bayside
  • Botany Bay
  • Inner West
  • City of Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Woollahra

All nine cases can be tracked back to limousine driver

Dr Chant said that currently it appeared all nine of the recent community COVID-19 cases could be traced back to the infected limousine driver with the Delta variant, but health authorities were keeping "an open mind" as investigations continued.

"As you know, there has been in the Victorian situation, they were actually dealing with two separate outbreaks – one of the Kappa strain and one with the Delta strain," she noted.

"(During) the Avalon cluster we had two outbreaks concurrently and it's important we keep an open mind with investigations and we will update you, because that would be of significance if they were not linked."

READ MORE: Two more COVID-19 cases connected to Bondi cluster

How Bondi Junction's outbreak compares to the Northern Beaches cluster

  How Bondi Junction's outbreak compares to the Northern Beaches cluster Health officials reject comparisons between Bondi's coronavirus cluster with the outbreak that locked down the Northern Beaches over Christmas and the New Year. Sydney's latest cluster increased to 31 on Wednesday, with another three recorded after Tuesday's 8pm cut-off that will be included in Thursday's report.The first reported case, which originated in Avalon, was reported on December 16 and spanned until January 14 - with 151 cases linked to the cluster.

More testing of those who visited Westfield Bondi Junction needed

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant is calling on everyone who visited the Westfield in Bondi Junction last weekend to come forward for testing, even if they only used the car park.

"We want to redouble our efforts to get testing of anyone he was in Westfield Bondi Junction including the car park on June 12 and June 13," Dr Chant said.

She noted that health authorities had been unable to find direct contact between recent cases who had contracted COVID-19 while at the shopping centre and infected individuals.

"That means the acquisition is probably occurring as people are moving about the Westfield Bondi Junction," she said.

"That gives us cause for concern because it means we may not have identified people if people are looking at particular venues and therefore we want those high rates of testing."

To encourage more individuals to come forward, Dr Chant said the mandate to isolate after testing until receiving a negative result will not apply to people who went to the shopping centre but didn't visit specific venues of concern, unless they develop symptoms.

Dr Chant said she would like daily testing numbers to rise to between 30,000 and 40,000 people.

Fragments of COVID-19 found in Sydney wastewater

There have also been more fragments of coronavirus detected in sewage systems in and around Sydney, including one in the Brooklyn area north of Hornsby where no positive COVID-19 cases are known to reside.

The sewage plant services around 1000 people and covers the suburbs of Dangar Island, Cowan, Brooklyn, Mooney Mooney and Cheerio Point.

How the Bondi COVID-19 cluster compares to last year's outbreaks

  How the Bondi COVID-19 cluster compares to last year's outbreaks The highly-infectious Delta COVID-19 variant has been spreading in Sydney for just over a week — here's how the latest cluster compares to two major outbreaks last year.The Bondi cluster stands at 31 cases as of 11:00am yesterday.

Dr Chant said no one from that region has been recently discharged from hotel quarantine, as she urged more locals to come forward for testing.

The other positive sewage detections are at the Camellia North and Camellia South pumping stations in western Sydney, where the virus was also detected on June 18.

The catchments take in a population of around 109,600 people are cover the following suburbs: Camellia, Harris Park, Granville, South Granville, Mays Hill, Merrylands, Merrylands West, North Parramatta, Parramatta, South Wentworthville, Westmead, Guildford West, Sydney Olympic Park, Newington, Holroyd, Clyde, Auburn, Old Guildford, Guildford, Silverwater, Rosehill and Rydalmere.

READ MORE: 'Good chance' NSW will face more restrictions, expert warns

'No doubt' fears over vaccines are hampering NSW rollout: Premier

The premier said there is "no doubt" heightened concerns around side-effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine were hampering New South Wales' vaccine rollout.

The federal government issued new advice for the jab on Thursday recommending limiting its use to those over the age of 60, following advice from their vaccine advisory board ATAGI.

It comes after 12 new cases of blood clots likely linked to the vaccine were detected in the week prior, seven of them in people aged in their 50s.

Nevertheless, Ms Berejiklian urged anyone in that age group who had already had their first dose of AstraZeneca to get their second shot.

She also stressed that New South Wales' administration of the Pfizer vaccine was limited by supply from the federal government, not an inability to deliver the vaccine en masse.

The mass vaccination site at Homebush and hospitals are equipped to deliver the Pfizer dose and NSW was ready to expand the number of distribution sites, but "for us, the issue is supply".

You can find out more details about how to book your vaccine through the Federal Government health site here.

Queensland imposes new rules as Sydney's Delta cluster grows. Here's what you need to know .
Queensland has closed its border to millions of people in Greater Sydney just as many would have been planning to travel for the winter school holidays. So who is allowed into Queensland and who isn't?Queensland Health on Wednesday expanded its border restrictions to people from Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

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