New case in Sydney COVID outbreak

 

Another returned traveller has tested positive to COVID-19 while staying on the same floor where a security guard who also contracted the virus worked.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the news on Wednesday morning and said the new case could be the "missing link" health authorities need.

"Health believes they (new case) acquired (COVID) when they went into the hotel and we're being very upfront about that," Ms Berejiklian said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed the new case on Wednesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed the new case on Wednesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

"They are an overseas traveller but they didn't have the virus when they came into the hotel … health believes that because of the timing they contracted the virus."

It is believed the guard contracted the virus while working on the 11th floor at the Sofitel in Wentworth but officials are yet to determine how.

An extensive look at CCTV footage shows he did not breach any protocols.

A previous returned traveller at the hotel had tested positive, but the link between them and the guard remains a mystery.

"It's not surprising the case is on the same floor as the security guard and the traveller that had the original case," the premier said.

"There is no cause for us to be alarmed in the community."

Ms Berejiklian said the case would not impact an expected easing of restrictions later on Wednesday.

Returned travellers inside the Sofitel Wentworth. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Returned travellers inside the Sofitel Wentworth. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

"At this stage there's no cause for us to change any of that," she said.

"But of course, as I say every day the pandemic is evolving, and if we have to adjust any of our settings we will."

The guard was the state's first coronavirus case in 55 days. He had received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month.

Urgent contact tracing is underway after NSW Health revealed the 47-year-old man, who works across two Sydney quarantine hotels, Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney's CBD and the Mantra hotel at Haymarket, caught the virus.

Ms Berejiklian confessed on Tuesday that health authorities may "never find the link" between the hotel quard and returned traveller, but today said the revelation that another patron had tested positive will help with the investigation.

"As always during a pandemic we ask all of our citizens to be on high alert and follow health advice," she said.

The case is on the same floor as the security guard. NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
The case is on the same floor as the security guard. NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

"Fortunately the person is already in quarantine … health will be making further investigations, it could be very much the missing link between the overseas traveller and the guard."

She said investigations are already underway and an update will be provided later in the morning.

Earlier this week chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the man also had a full-time office job and worked in the hotels over weekends.

"(He was) was infectious while doing a shift and we have contacted around 130 people who worked from 7pm on Friday night to 7am on Saturday, overlapping that March 12 to March 13 (window)," she said at the time.

"We are asking those individuals to immediately self-isolate and get a test. Basically, that allows us time to work through and ascertain the nature of interaction that this security guard had with those quarantine workers."

More to come

Originally published as New case in Sydney COVID outbreak


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