Hundreds of people are being told to isolate as a “concerning” cluster of coronavirus cases on NSW’s south coast continues to grow.
The Soldiers Club in Batemans Bay is to be closed for two weeks after a cluster linked to the venue doubled in size overnight, taking it to eight cases.
One of the new cases is a local resident while a staff member has also contracted the virus. The original four cases are members of the same family who dined at the club.
Anyone who dined or worked at the waterfront venue between July 13 and 17 is being urged to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if they test negative.
NSW Transport Minister and Member for Bega Andrew Constance told Channel Nine’s Today the region is “very, very concerned”.
“The advice is hundreds and hundreds of people who attended the Soldiers Club last week will have to go into isolation,” he said.
“This is obviously devastating news to our community and we have to make sure everybody isolates, everybody gets tested and stick to the critical rules that are there to keep us safe.”
The cluster comes six months after the area was ravaged by catastrophic bushfires, with Mr Constance saying it is the “last thing we needed”.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott told the Seven Network there is concern over the ageing population and that its frequently visited during the school holidays.
Mayor of the Eurobodalla shire Liz Innes said with the easing of restrictions it was “unfortunately inevitable” there would be outbreaks like this.
“It is really sad, considering what our local community has been through after the bushfire experiences which really devastated us here on the coast over the summer period and now it seems we are being tested once again,” she told ABC News 24.
She warned the community to remain vigilant.
On Sunday, NSW Health urged people to avoid non-essential travel and social gatherings and consider wearing masks if they cannot socially distance due to the rise of community transmission.
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