NSW venues on Covid alert after Omicron case spent time in community

·3-min read

A fifth case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in NSW visited several venues in Sydney and NSW while infectious.

The woman in her 30s, who is fully vaccinated, arrived in Sydney on flight QR908 from Doha after travelling in southern Africa, where the new strain was detected on November 11, NSW Health confirmed.

The woman landed in Australia on Thursday before the country announced a border ban with nine countries in southern Africa and a 72-hour quarantine requirement for all international travellers.

She then travelled by private car to the NSW Central Coast, where she is now isolating at a home, NSW Health officials said.

People wearing PPE arriving at Sydney International Airport in Sydney, Monday, November 29, 2021. Source: AAP
A fifth traveller who landed in NSW on Thursday has tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Source: AAP

Concerningly, the infected woman visited several venues in Sydney and the NSW Central Coast before the quarantine requirement was enacted.

"This particular lady came in before the new arrangements, that is transferring to a health hotel, so she has been out in the community and health is now investigating that," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told 7News on Tuesday.

"She has essentially been out in the Central Coast area."

Every other passenger on the woman's flight is considered a close contact and will need to get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status, NSW Health said.

Venues of concern after Omicron diagnosis

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:

  • Coles, Top Ryde Shopping Centre on November 26 from 9:30am to 10:45am

  • Target Parramatta, Westfield Parramatta on November 26 from 10:45am to 11am

  • H&M Parramatta, Westfield Parramatta on November 26 from 11am to 11:15am

  • The Athlete’s Foot, Westfield Parramatta on November 26 from 11:15am to 11:30am

  • JD Sports, Westfield Parramatta on November 26 from 11:15am to 12pm

  • Rebel Sports, Westfield Parramatta on November 26 from 12:00pm to 12:45pm

  • IGA, North Wyong on November 26 from 6:15pm to 7pm

  • Pizza Hut, Wyong on November 26 from 7pm – 7:15pm

  • KFC North, Wyong on November 26 from 7:15pm to 7:30pm

  • Woolworths, Wadalba on November 26 from 7.30pm to 8:15pm

  • Aldi, Toukley on November 27 from 4:45pm to 5:45pm

NSW Health is also investigating two Covid cases who arrived in NSW on flight QR908 on Thursday.

Both are isolating at their homes and urgent genomic sequencing is underway to determine if these cases have the Omicron variant.

Australia's sixth case of Omicron was confirmed in the Northern Territory on Monday.

Healthcare workers administering Covid-19 tests at a drive through test centre in Sydney, Monday, November 29. Source: AAP
NSW Health is also investigating two Covid cases who arrived in NSW on flight QR908 on Thursday. Source: AAP

Australia pauses reopening plans

Federal, state and territory leaders will on Tuesday afternoon discuss quarantine arrangements going forward after the Morrison government announced on Monday it would delay the reopening of the Australian border to skilled workers, international students and other visa holders.

That date has been pushed out to December 15, alongside a pause on travel bubbles with Japan and South Korea.

"Our overwhelming view is that whilst it's an emerging variant, it's a manageable variant," Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"All of this is done on the presumption that we will recommence from December 15, but medical advice will guide our decision making throughout."

The World Health Organisation has warned slamming borders shut to countries that report new variants could backfire.

"We don't like to see that level of restriction because that really punishes (those countries)," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told Sky News.

With AAP

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