Two new COVID cases as Bondi testing ‘nowhere near’ needed levels19th June 2021
To boost testing rates, NSW Health said anyone who attended Bondi Junction Westfield during these times and does not have symptoms does not need to isolate after their test.
“We ask that you minimise your exposure to other people until you get a negative test,” the ministry’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said.
“That means wear a mask if you’re out, work from home if you can, don’t go to gatherings, don’t go to places where there are crowds such as a ski field.”
Isolation requirements remain in place for other people presenting for testing, and people who attended stores listed as specific exposure sites within the Westfield.
Masks are mandatory on public transport and strongly recommended in public indoor settings until this Thursday, under new restrictions announced on Friday.
There are now six cases associated with the eastern suburbs cluster: the initial case, a driver in his 60s who had contact with international air crew, his wife, a woman in her 70s who dined at a Vaucluse cafe with the driver, a man in his 50s who CCTV footage showed walked past the driver at Bondi Junction Westfield Myer and the two other Westfield cases announced on Saturday.
The group have been infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19, known to have a higher secondary attack rate than previous variants, meaning there is a higher risk contacts become cases.
Police are investigating whether the driver, employed as a private contractor to transport international air crew to police managed quarantine, had a COVID-19 test on every shift as was a condition of his employment under the Public Health Order.
There have also been reports the driver was not vaccinated. Asked if NSW could introduce mandatory vaccination for quarantine workers, Mr Hazzard said it “effectively” could but it had “generally” been the position that the state would follow national cabinet guidance on the issue.
“We try to make sure that everybody is vaccinated,” he added.
National cabinet will meet on Monday, when the impact of recent advice to give people in their 50s the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on the national rollout will be discussed.
“I don’t think there’s any clarity yet as to what is going to occur on that front,” Mr Hazzard said. “But clearly, as the Premier has said and I’ve said many times, we would like as much vaccine as possible to come to NSW and, indeed, the whole of Australia.”
An additional case unrelated to the cluster, a Baulkham Hills man in his 40s, was also detected this week.
The local cases resulted in new exposure alerts for train services from Central to Bondi Junction, Newtown and Campbelltown, as well as a cafe at Fairy Meadow and two plant nurseries in the Hills District.