Two recent COVID-19 cases have been linked to a pub in southwest Sydney, with the venue closed and attendees from recent days urged to get tested if they have symptoms.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Friday said it had emerged that a new case – a man in his 50s – had been at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula on Saturday, the same night as an earlier case.
“Now obviously that has major ramifications because that appears to be … a likely point of connection where the two people could have actually come into some contact at least with the virus,” Mr Hazzard told reporters in Sydney.
He said NSW Health had directed the hotel to close and provide attendee details, with contact tracing underway.
A pop-up testing facility will be set up in the hotel’s car park as of 5pm on Friday.
Mr Hazzard urged anyone who recently attended the pub and had any symptoms at all to get tested.
He said another “troubling” case which emerged on Friday was a man in his twenties from Melbourne, who had towed his caravan up from Victoria into the Sutherland area.
The health minister thanked the man for coming forward, but asked people who had “ducked out of Melbourne” just before or after new public health orders to consider “packing up your caravan, packing up your tent or whatever else you’ve got” and heading home.
The two new cases follow the confirmation of a third COVID-19 case in the NSW-Victoria border town of Albury linked to two previous cases in the regional city.
COVID-19 CLOSURE | A hotel in Casula has been ordered to close by the NSW Government after two patrons tested positive to COVID-19.
A 30yo woman and a 50yo man both attended the Crossroads Hotel last Saturday night according to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard. pic.twitter.com/iqKrFv2OxV
— 10 News First Sydney (@10NewsFirstSyd) July 10, 2020
NSW Health confirmed the case earlier on Friday after flagging it hadn’t made the deadline for confirmed case numbers on Thursday.
The case, a man in his 30s, is connected to two family members who tested positive to COVID-19 in Albury earlier in the week.
NSW recorded 13 other COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday – all of which are in hotel quarantine – from more than 18,500 tests.
More than one million COVID-19 tests have been carried out in NSW since testing began.
The premier thanked NSW residents for doing their part in keeping the state safe.
“I want to thank everyone in NSW who has come forward and been tested. This needs to continue – if you have the mildest of symptoms it is so important you come forward and get tested,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement on Friday.
The premier this week warned the Victorian COVID-19 outbreak is a wake-up call and everyone should be “in a state of high alert”.
While there was no evidence of increased community transmission across the border yet, she said it would be as long as a fortnight before the situation became clear, with health authorities aware the virus may be “bubbling away” under the surface.
Ms Berejiklian reiterated that all residents of NSW-Victoria border towns should stay put for the time being, and those from elsewhere in the state should not approach the border.
More than 125,000 exemption permits were issued by Thursday for people living in NSW-Victoria border communities, allowing them to move between the two.
Meanwhile, Queensland’s borders opened from midday on Friday for the first time since closing on March 25 to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
Those planning to cross the Queensland border from NSW are being warned of queues up to 20 kilometres long, with NSW Police Superintendent Dave Roptell urging drivers to be patient.
Travellers will need identification and a border declaration stating they have not visited Victoria in the previous 14 days to enter Queensland.