Sydney pub cluster climbs to 28 as outbreak fears grow

The number of coronavirus cases linked to a Sydney pub has grown to 28 as officials plead for more people to come forward and get tested.

A further seven positive tests related to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula were recorded overnight while one other case is under investigation.

Four people who have tested positive all attended the hotel on July 3, including a man from Melbourne.


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Three of the cases are close contacts of those people.

It’s also been revealed one of the new cases had worked at Kmart at Casula.

Read more: Kmart worker at busy Sydney shopping centre tests positive to COVID-19

New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says clearly July 3 is emerging as a key date for this outbreak.

“Should you have been at that premise and not recorded your details at that time, we urge you to come forward and get tested and please isolate yourself for 14 days, even if you have a negative test, please remain in isolation for 14 days, since you left that hotel,” Dr Chant said.

“We’ve then extended the period calling everyone to isolate and come forward for testing, for anyone who was at that hotel between 3 and 10 July, when the hotel was closed for cleaning.

“It is essential that people come forward for testing. This will enable us to understand the scope of spread associated with that facility, and remembering that there were other hotel staff who were positive who were working on other days.”

Related: 18 Qlders tested after visiting Syd pub, suburbs declared hotspots

Dr Chant says one of the positive cases had also visited the Prestons Lodge Aged Care facility while infectious.

No cases have been identified at the home but it has since been placed into lockdown as a precaution.

Anyone who visited the Picton Hotel on July 4, 5, 9 or 10 are also being urged to isolate and get tested after a patron tested positive.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has rejected claims they are losing control of the situation but says everyone needs to remain on high alert.

“I want to make this point very clear  that during a pandemic, when you’re easing restrictions as we have been doing, you’re going to get extra cases and we have to live with that,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“There is no way that New South Wales will have zero cases during a pandemic, it’s not going to happen and we shouldn’t expect that we will always going to have cases when we’ve eased restrictions and we have to expect that.

It comes as further restrictions are placed on pubs across New South Wales to reduce the risk of the outbreak spreading even further.

Large venues will be restricted to a maximum of 300 patrons, group bookings will be limited to 10 people and venues will have to ensure all customer details are recorded.

Read more: NSW to reintroduce venue restrictions as pub cluster worsens

Meantime South Australia has scrapped plans to reopen its borders to residents in New South Wales and the ACT on July 20.

“We know that this is going to be very inconvenient to people who have already made plans,” SA Premier Steven Marshall said.

“But our primary responsibility is for the health, safety and welfare of all South Australians.

“We’re being cautious, we’re looking at the epidemiology of what’s going on, we’re looking at the results in NSW.”

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