NRL player caught in Sydney hotel virus cluster chaos

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Jake Averillo, pictured here in action for the Bulldogs in the NRL.
Jake Averillo has been caught up in the Crossroads Hotel chaos. Image: Getty

Canterbury have become entangled in the Crossroads Hotel COVID-19 cluster with centre Jake Averillo stood down from training and forced into isolation.

The 19-year-old Averillo lives at home with his parents who attended the hotel in Sydney's south-west on July 5, where 13 cases of the virus have been linked.

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Averillo, who has not played in the NRL since round seven, will be tested for COVID-19 on Monday and will remain in isolation until at least July 19.

Both of his parents were tested over the weekend and will be re-tested on Sunday to ensure a clean bill of health for Averillo to return to training.

Jake Averillo, pictured here with his partner and family after his NRL debut in March.
Jake Averillo with his partner and family after his NRL debut in March. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It's the second case of enforced isolation for the Bulldogs after skipper Aidan Tolman missed two matches due to a teacher at his child's school contracted the virus.

It comes as a Parramatta rookie who breached NRL biosecurity protocols on Sunday night was banned from returning to Eels training.

Stefano Utoikamanu made his NRL debut in Sunday's win over Newcastle but broke health protocols by embracing family members and friends in the crowd after fulltime.

The 20-year-old remains a part of the Eels' bubble, but it's understood he is unable to return to training until the people he made close contact with pass a COVID-19 test.

13 cases liked to Crossroads Hotel cluster

NSW recorded 14 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with the number of infections linked to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak rising to 13.

Four of the new cases confirmed on Monday are travellers in hotel quarantine, while another two are NSW residents who caught the virus in Victoria.

Eight are linked to an outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in southwest Sydney, including a teenage pub worker, a Sydney woman in her 40s and a Victorian man in his 20s who had already been revealed to have tested positive.

None of the new cases are believed to have been the source of infection at the hotel, according to NSW Health.

All patrons of the Casula pub, who entered from July 3 to 10, must now self-isolate and are being urged to get tested as a precaution.

The Crossroads Hotel in Casula, pictured here in an aerial view.
An aerial view of the Crossroads Hotel in Casula. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

The outbreak has prompted the closure of another venue for cleaning, as one of those infected attended Picton Hotel on July 4, 9 and 10.

NSW Government Minister Stuart Ayres on Monday said he didn't think the state's virus outbreak was getting out of control, but it was important that Crossroads visitors get tested.

“I think we're in a pretty good place at the moment, but we are at the crossroads,” Mr Ayres told Seven's Sunrise.

“I know it's a pun that everyone wants to use at the moment, but there's probably never been a more symbolically named hotel than where we sit right now.

“This particular hotel is located at the juncture of the M7 and the M5, it's a big traveller's hotel, which is why if anyone's been in that location it's so important that they go and get tested immediately.”

Werriwa MP Anne Stanley said she had been tested and gone into self-isolation after dining at the Crossroads Hotel last week.