New South Wales has recorded zero new local cases of coronavirus – but at least two new cases in western Sydney will be included in Tuesday’s figures.
Health bosses fear more cases will be recorded after thousands of people went to a BWS at Berala which was exposed to the virus from 22 December to 31 January.
Genomic sequencing results for the Berala cluster are the same as for a patient transport worker who unknowingly visited the BWS store while infectious before Christmas.
This infection was first passed from a family of returned travellers with COVID-19 to a patient transport worker.
This worker then passed it to a colleague, who attended the BWS at Berala for a short amount of time on 20 December.
People who attended BWS or Woolworths in the Berala shopping centre on Sunday 20 December between 12.30pm and 2pm are being urged to get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result is received.
A Covid-19 cluster in Berala has been caused by a patient transfer worker who took a family of returned overseas travellers to a health facility
Shoppers wear masks as they walk around a shopping precinct in Sydney on Sunday. Masks are mandatory in Sydney
A security guard takes the temperature of a customer at a shopping precinct in Sydney on Sunday
Berala BWS: Exposure times
Anyone who visited BWS at Berala Shopping Centre at certain times from December 22 through to New Year’s Eve is considered a close contact and should get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the test result:
Tuesday 22 December 2020 between 12:41pm to 9:15pm
Wednesday 23 December 2020 between 12:45pm to 9:15pm
Thursday 24 December 2020 between 12:45pm to 9:30pm
Saturday 26 December 2020 between 9:55am to 7:30pm
Sunday 27 December 2020 between 12:45pm to 8:15pm
Monday 28 December 2020 between 8:30am to 7:45pm
Tuesday 29 December 2020 between 1:45pm to 9:15pm
Wednesday 30 December 2020 between 12:45am to 9:15pm
Thursday 31 December 2020 between 8:30am to 5pm
BWS in Berala, in the city’s west, was an exposure site for up to nine hours a day every day between December 22 and New Year’s Eve, skipping only Christmas Day.
Tens of thousands of people have been affected.
Most who dropped by the bottle shop across the Christmas period are now considered close contacts and need to isolate for 14 days even if they only attended the outlet for a short time.
More than 1,000 people attended on Christmas Eve alone.
The COVID-19 cluster in Berala is up to 13 cases, with genetic sequencing revealing the source is a patient transfer worker who took a family of returned overseas travellers to a health facility.
The worker became infected and passed the virus to a colleague, who attended the Berala bottle shop for a ‘very fleeting amount of time’ on December 20.
Acting Premier John Barilaro said on Monday the government had no qualms about tightening restrictions around Berala if unsourced COVID-19 cases began to emerge.
He admitted contact tracing at the BWS was a colossal task, as QR codes are not mandatory at NSW bottle shops.
‘We will always consider what we can do in relation to a lockdown, further restrictions, especially where there is a hot spot,’ Mr Barilaro told the Nine Network.
‘One of the things we said when we were lifting restrictions was that if we had to respond, it would be fast and it would be hard and local, just like we have done for the (northern beaches) peninsula.’
The NSW government has set a target of 20,000 or 30,000 tests a day while it tackles the outbreaks.
The northern beaches cluster on Sunday lifted by two to 148 people, with the northern part of the peninsula still under stay-at-home orders. Those orders will remain in place until at least Saturday.
NSW Health is currently treating 125 people with COVID-19, none of whom are in intensive care.
Meanwhile, police say a southwest Sydney venue operator will be fined $5000 after hosting a wedding attended by at least 600 people.
Officers attended the venue on Spencer St in Fairfield on Saturday and estimated at least 600 people were at the wedding, despite a COVID-safe capacity of 350.
Guests at the wedding are yet to be penalised.
Earlier on Monday Victoria recorded three new coronavirus cases after thousands of shoppers were left exposed amid a contact tracing bungle.
The infections bring the state’s number of active cases up to 36 after more than 32,000 tests were processed on Sunday.
All new cases are close contacts of existing infections in Mentone and Mitcham, which are linked to the Northern Beaches outbreak in New South Wales.
Melbourne’s Federation Square and several major shopping stores have been added to Victoria’s growing list of exposure sites.
Pictured: Healthcare workers are seen at drive through testing facility at Springers Leisure Centre in Cheltenham, Melbourne on December 31
Melbourne’s Federation Square (pictured on December 31) has been added to Victoria’s growing list of exposure sites
A case attended the CBD hub on December 23 from 11am to 11.30am.
Anyone who attended the site at those times should monitor for symptoms, and undergo testing and isolate if they develop.
The same advice applies to those who visited IKEA Springvale from 4pm to 6pm on December 29, as well as Kmart and Coles in Burwood East the day before.
Five other venues have also been added to the hotspot list after managers took it upon themselves to warn patrons to get tested because health authorities were slow to ask them to shut their doors.
All hospitality staff are also required to wear one, with anyone disobeying the health order to be fined $200 from Monday
On Saturday evening, NSW Health ramped up its alert for the Berala bottle shop, with many of its customers of the Christmas holiday period now considered to be close contacts