Patrons of COVID alert venues to isolate for 14 days
Patrons of two venues south of Sydney have been ordered into 14-day quarantine as health officials continue to investigate Wollongong's returned traveller COVID case.
People who visited the Headlands Hotel's beer garden in Austinmer on February 2 between 1-3pm or the Bulli Beach Cafe on February 6 between 1:30-4pm are now close contacts, according to a statement from NSW Health.
The statement said punters have been asked to get tested and complete two weeks of isolation regardless of their test result, while people who visited either venue outside of the times are listed as casual contacts.
"Anyone who was in the beer garden of the Headlands Hotel or who dined in at the Bulli Beach Café at the times listed below is now considered a close contact and should immediately get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result," a NSW Health statement read.
"Anyone who was at the Headlands Hotel (in all areas other than the beer garden) and anyone who got takeaway from the Bulli Beach Café at the times listed below is now considered a casual contact who should monitor for symptoms."
"If any symptoms develop, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative result."
It comes as the returned male traveller tested positive on Saturday, two days after leaving hotel quarantine at Sofitel Wentworth, visiting a string of venues around Wollongong.
Authorities have yet to confirm where the man caught the virus.
NSW HEALTH INVESTIGATE IF CASE CAUGHT COVID IN HOTEL
State health authorities are investigating whether a returned traveller who tested positive to COVID-19 two days after leaving hotel quarantine caught the virus while in the hotel.
The man from the Wollongong area left quarantine at the Sofitel Wentworth hotel on February 2.
He returned two negative tests during his two-week quarantine at the hotel.
In a statement, a NSW Health spokesman said "several" returned travellers at the Sofitel Wentworth had positive test results while the man was in quarantine.
Health authorities contacted the man on February 4 as part of increased testing protocols introduced last week, which require returned travellers to get tested two days after leaving hotel quarantine.
He was tested last Friday, with the positive test returned on Saturday.
NSW Health is now undertaking "comprehensive testing" to find the source of the virus and identify whether it is one of the more infectious strains.
Authorities are also investigating any potential links between the man and other positive cases in quarantine.
A NSW Health spokesman said the day-16 testing protocols were introduced after people in other jurisdictions developed COVID-19 infections after leaving quarantine.
Returned travellers with no symptoms are not required to self-isolate while awaiting their day-16 test.
The man visited a number of venues in the Wollongong area and a cafe at Brighton Le Sands before he was notified of the positive test. Ten of his close contacts were identified, with seven returning negative tests as of Monday.
NSW authorities classified the case as "under investigation" and not a case in the community but the federal government considers the man's case to be one of "community transmission".
Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was deemed a local infection as the case was "within the community outside the hotel quarantine system".
LESSON ON HOW TO DELIVER COVID VACCINE
Training on how to administer the COVID-19 jab is now being given to immunisation providers and administrative staff in the lead up to the first vaccines becoming available in Australia.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the training will be "critical to ensuring that vaccination occurs in a safe and effective way".
Mr Hunt yesterday dismissed new data suggesting the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine only offers "minimal protection" against the South African virus strain - despite that country suspending plans to use the AstraZeneca jab for its frontline workers.
Preliminary data from one study suggested the AstraZeneca jab only offered "minimal protection against mild-moderate disease" caused by the South African variant of the virus. Mr Hunt said Australian health experts still trust both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer vaccines against the new strains.
"There is currently no evidence to indicate a reduction in the effectiveness of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines and preventing severe disease and death,'' he said.
"That is the fundamental task to protect the health of, not just Australians, but people all around the world."
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is expected to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine in coming days.
Meanwhile, a massive vaccination campaign in Israel has led to a drop in hospital infections and new COVID cases.
Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recent results for over-60s showed a 26 per cent reduction in hospitalisations and around a 45 per cent reduction in cases.
Since December, more than 3.4 million of Israel's nine million people have received a coronavirus vaccine jab in what is seen as the world's fastest per-capita vaccination campaign.
Originally published as Patrons of COVID alert venues to isolate for 14 days