Current Location: Local Lifes   Local News   New case in quarantine hotel linked to infected security guard but infection source remains a mystery

New case in quarantine hotel linked to infected security guard but infection source remains a mystery

ASSA | 2021-03-17 12:30:11

New South Wales has recorded a new case of locally acquired COVID-19 at the same Sydney quarantine hotel where a security guard contracted the virus.
The new case is an overseas traveller who was in quarantine at the Sofitel Wentworth and will be deemed a local case as they contracted the virus after arriving in Australia.
"NSW Health believes they acquired (the virus) after they went into the hotel, they are an overseas traveller but they didn't have the virus when they came into the hotel," Premier Gladys Berejkilian said.

The case was staying on the same floor as the security guard who tested positive on Saturday and another returned traveller in quarantine who previously tested positive, with genomic sequencing linking all three cases.
All three cases are confirmed to have the highly infectious UK strain, however authorities are still unclear as to how transmission occurred.
NSW Health today confirmed there is no shared air-conditioning between the rooms, which all have their own units.

Easing of restriction to go ahead

Ms Berejiklian said the threat to the community is "negligible" as the case remains in quarantine and has not been outside of the hotel.
She confirmed the new case "doesn't change anything in Sydney" and restrictions will still be eased today, including allowing people to stand while drinking inside pubs, clubs and bars.
Today's case comes after the hotel security guard tested positive following 55 days of zero community transmission.
The case sparked a rapid response from health authorities who issued a series of health alerts for venues primarily in the Huntsville area in Sydney's south.

Ms Berejiklian yesterday said she felt "positive" about the ability of the state to handle a possible outbreak and the government would be more focused on promoting a post-COVID-19 world.
"We need to not be too upset if we get a case here or there so long as people are staying out of hospital, we are managing the situation, people are keeping their jobs, people are moving around as freely as possible, I think that's the measure of success we need to focus on moving forward," she said yesterday.
Currently, pubs, bars and clubs must not exceed the one customer per two square metre rule and patrons must remain seated while indoors.
Dance floors are still banned except for at weddings where 30 people are allowed at one time.
The relaxations could provide a welcome boost to struggling pubs, bars and clubs after it was revealed the hospitality industry remains the most impacted by job losses as a result of the pandemic.
Latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show payroll jobs in the industry were 11.6 per cent below mid-March, more than fifty times above the levels for all industries sitting at 0.2 per cent below.

"After losing more than a third of Hospitality jobs early in the pandemic, around two in three (67.3 per cent) of these payroll job losses had been regained by the end of February," Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said.
The premier said the state would consider easing restrictions further in line with the next phase of the vaccine rollout plan.
"We will feel that slight bit of relief once all of our hotel quarantine workers get their second dose of the Pfizer and that's happening now," she said.
"It will also depend on how we're doing in regard to community transmission."