NSW hospital cluster grows, 10 new cases

NSW has recorded another 10 cases of COVID-19, as 100 healthcare workers linked to an outbreak at two Sydney hospitals remain in isolation.

The 10 new cases, diagnosed from 22,805 tests, include six returned travellers in hotel quarantine, two people who attended a Waverley club, one case linked to the Sydney CBD cluster and one linked to the hospitals outbreak.

The new hospital case is a household close contact of a previous case associated with Liverpool Hospital’s emergency department.


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The total number of cases linked to the Liverpool Hospital and Concord Hospital’s emergency departments is now 15.

Staff from Royal Prince Alfred and Canterbury hospitals have been deployed to Concord Hospital’s emergency department to help make up staffing shortages.

NSW Health on Thursday night said a person with COVID-19 was present at Concord’s emergency department waiting area between 2.20pm and 5pm on September 6.

Staff and patients present in the waiting room for one hour or more at the same as that person had been identified and were being contacted.

“They have been advised to get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days (even with a negative test result) until Sunday, September 20, inclusive,” NSW Health said.

“Anyone else who visited the waiting area for less than one hour should be alert for symptoms.”

A spokeswoman from the Sydney Local Health District said anyone working in Concord’s emergency department, ICU and aged care would be tested for COVID-19 every 48 hours over two weeks.

Additionally, the number of workers allowed in staff tea rooms has been limited and no group meetings are allowed.

Staff members are also banned from working across multiple hospitals, and telehealth consultations continue at many outpatient clinics.

Health authorities are also working to trace contacts of the two new cases linked to the Eastern Suburbs Legion Club, and to investigate the source of the emerging outbreak.

NSW Health is treating 86 COVID-19 cases including six in intensive care, four of whom are being ventilated.

Meanwhile, a woman has been fined after attempting to flee hotel quarantine in NSW after returning from Melbourne.

The 51-year-old allegedly left her hotel room about midday on Thursday and pretended to be a hotel staff member when approached by security.

When asked to present identification, she fled through a fire exit and ran through the hotel lobby, before being arrested outside, police said in a statement on Friday.

The Strathfield woman was escorted back to her hotel room and issued with a $1000 fine.

© AAP 2020