'Wake-up call': NSW virus hotspots dubbed ‘super alarming’

·3-min read

The NSW South Coast is on high alert after a person from Melbourne who was later diagnosed with Covid-19 visited the area late last month.

Health authorities released a list of exposure sites overnight, in what a local MP has described as a "wake-up call" for NSW after accusations of complacency. 

Extra coronavirus testing clinics have been set up after Victorian health officials notified NSW Health the person visited Jervis Bay, Goulburn, Hyams Beach and Vincentia on May 23 and 24.

The person had some symptoms on May 25 after driving back to Melbourne on May 24, and tested positive on May 31 – almost a week later.

Green Patch campground in Booderee National Park was exposed to an infected person on May 23 and 24. Source: AAP/File
Green Patch campground in Booderee National Park was exposed to an infected person on May 23 and 24. Source: AAP/File

Victoria is nearing the end of a week-long "circuit breaker" lockdown to contain an outbreak of the Indian variant of the virus in Melbourne and some regions. It recorded another six local cases on Wednesday morning, taking the state's local cases since last Monday to 60.

The prospect the outbreak could now spread to the NSW south coast has raised concern about the region's high proportion of older Australians. 

South Coast MP Shelley Hancock says the highly contagious nature of the variant is "super alarming" and is urging locals to "please get tested and then isolate at home". She urged locals to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"We're not used to being on high alert on the South Coast," she told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.

She's concerned about the impact an outbreak would have on the area's elderly population.

"Sometimes complacency sets in – well, here's the wake-up call," she said.

NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has called the news of NSW exposure sites a
NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has called the news of NSW exposure sites a "wake-up call". Source: AAP

Coles, petrol station among exposure sites

NSW Health has now issued a list of venues of concern around Jervis Bay and is urging anyone who visited them at the times listed on the department's website to get in contact, to get tested and to isolate until they receive further instructions.

The venues include the Green Patch campground and Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay, the Cooked Goose Cafe at Hyams Beach, Coles Vincentia Shopping Village and Trapper's Bakery and Shell Coles Express Big Merino at Goulburn.

Anyone who lives in the Jervis Bay area or has visited Jervis Bay since May 22 is asked to get tested and to isolate if they have even the mildest of cold-like symptoms.

Calls for changes to hotel quarantine after WA leak

The Australian Medical Association is calling for urgent changes to hotel quarantine after a man was infected by a returned traveller in the room next door in Perth.

State health authorities are investigating how the transmission took place.

It is the latest in a long list of breaches in hotel quarantine across the country.

"This would be the 21st (breach) according to our own records of issues within hotel quarantine," Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly told a Senate hearing.

"But we have to think about what the background is, that 352,000 people have come through hotel quarantine over that period."

Federal health officials said there had been no other transmissions detected in WA's hotel quarantine system after the case emerged.

with AAP

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