NSW on high alert as mystery Covid case emerges

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·3-min read

NSW has recorded a new case of Covid-19 for the first time in almost a month.

The health department said on Wednesday “urgent” investigations and contract tracing are underway.

The case is a man, a resident of Sydney's east believed to be aged in his 50s, who was tested on Tuesday but returned a positive result on Wednesday. 

People walk along a path at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.
Sydney's latest case is a man from the city's eastern suburbs. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

It's the first locally acquired case in NSW in almost a month after Covid-19 spread between returned travellers in hotel quarantine between April 7-12.

The latest case has not travelled overseas and does not work in hotel quarantine or a health role.

However, he did visit a number of venues in Bondi and stores in Sydney's west.

Health workers perform Covid-19 tests at a drive-through testing centre at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
Bondi Beach residents undertake Covid tests. Source: Getty Images

Venues the Sydney Covid case visited

  • Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction (screening of The Courier) - Friday, 6pm-8pm

  • Figo Restaurant, Rushcutters Bay - Friday, 8.45pm-11pm

  • Joe's Barbeques & Heating, Silverwater - Saturday, 1pm-1.45pm

  • Tucker Barbeques, Silverwater - Saturday, 1pm-1.45pm

  • Barbeques Galore, Annandale - Saturday, 2pm-3pm

  • Barbeques Galore, Casula - Saturday, 4pm-5pm

  • BP Mascot - Saturday, 4.30pm-5pm

  • The Meat Store, Bondi Junction - Sunday, 3pm-4pm

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Wednesday authorities are undertaking genomic testing for strains in hotel quarantine and in other states.

“So that genomic testing will give us some indication as to the strain and, therefore, some potential links,” Ms Berejiklian said.

She added the man "did everything right".

CHO 'disappointed' by lack of QR code sign-ins

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said she found it "disappointing" only 100 signed in at Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction on Friday night.

“Can I urge anyone who knows anyone who went to the Bondi Junction cinema – Event Cinemas at that time to reach out to them and alert them if they haven't seen this in the media?" Dr Chant said.

She said QR codes allow health authorities to contact people who visited venues directly should their be a positive case.

That task is now more difficult, with authorities now needing to contact Event Cinemas management.

A sign about the Covid-19 coronavirus is displayed at the Sydney Opera House.
It's been almost a month since NSW recorded a case of Covid-19. Source: Getty Images

“I suppose what I highlight it for is the fact that having those QR codes available to us means that we can text people almost immediately, and so we know that there were a hundred sign-ins," Dr Chant said. 

"Now, we need to go back to the management and understand was that a reasonable, was that expected numbers.

"But I'm also conscious that it was a Friday night and there may well have been other people that may have not QR coded so that's why I'm suggesting we all work with each other."

Dr Chant said health authorities believe he was infectious from Friday, April 30. He was also not vaccinated against Covid-19.

She was also asked if there are any theories as to how he caught the virus but that remains a mystery.

“Obviously we have asked him about - he hasn't returned from overseas," Dr Chant said.

More Covid cases expected, update on restrictions

The premier said she expects more cases of Covid-19 in the coming days but for the moment restrictions will remain the same.

Ms Berejiklian added it's "very early" in making a call on restriction changes.

“We expect a high number of people to come forward," she said. 

"In the last 24 hours we had 13,500 people come forward and get tested. 

"No doubt this positive case will alert more people to come forward and get tested and that's a good thing."

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