Covid-19 NSW: City on alert after Omicron cases visit venue

The NSW city of Newcastle is on alert after confirmed Covid-19 cases likely infected with the Omicron variant visited a local nightclub.

NSW Health announced on Sunday that the infected group was at the The Argyle House nightclub oh Wharf Road from 9pm on December 8 to 3am on December 9.

"A public health investigation is underway into transmission of the virus, which took place after confirmed cases of Covid-19, linked to a previously reported outbreak on a party boat cruise on Sydney Harbour on 3 December, attended The Argyle House," NSW Health said in a statement.

"Anyone who attended the venue on the days and times listed must immediately get tested, isolate and await further advice from NSW Health."

Newcastle residents for testing at a drive through collection centre at Newcastle University. Source: AAP
Three people likely infected with Omicron were at a Newcastle nightclub for several hours. Source: AAP

The Argyle House said in a Facebook post that NSW Health informed them three confirmed Covid cases had been at the venue.

The latest news comes as state health authorities are working to contain several large transmission events.

A trivia night at a Sydney pub sparked a new cluster of cases, with at least 46 patrons testing positive to the virus after attending the Oxford Tavern in Petersham on November 30.

Authorities are also concerned about 140 passengers who embarked on a Sydney Harbour cruise earlier in the month which has so far resulted in at least five cases of the Omicron variant.

NSW Health has also issued alerts for the Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay and the Albion Hotel in Parramatta.

"NSW Health is concerned about increased transmission taking place in larger social venues such as these, and we urge people not to attend social functions if they have any symptoms, even if mild," officials said.

NSW records 485 new Covid-19 infections

NSW Health announced 485 new Covid-19 infections and two deaths on Sunday.

Some 90,804 tests were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, while the double-dose vaccination rate of those aged over 16 in NSW has reached 93.1 per cent.

The state had on Saturday recorded the highest number of cases since October 9, two days before lockdown lifted, and the second in a row with more than 500 cases.

As of Saturday evening, 156 people were in hospital with the virus, 23 of them in intensive care.

Genomic testing into additional Omicron cases continues with the state tally up to 45 as of Saturday.

The wait time to receive a Covid-19 booster will be cut from six months to five in a bid to combat the spread of the new variant.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says data from Israel shows booster jabs lead to reductions in infection rates and deaths.

With AAP

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