Sydney Covid update: NSW records 30 new cases as vaccination hub identified as exposure site

New South Wales has reported 30 new cases of Covid-19 and the vaccination hub at Sydney’s Westmead hospital has been identified as a potential exposure site.

On Sunday morning the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced a further 30 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday night, on the first full day of a lockdown for greater Sydney.

She said 11 of those people were already in isolation but “a number of people were potentially in the community while infectious”.

Four new cases were also announced in the Northern Territory, prompting Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield to enter a 48-hour lockdown. All four cases are linked to a mine worker at the Granites Mine who had previously tested positive.

Queensland also reported two new locally acquired cases but of the Alpha variant, not the Delta variant currently spreading in Sydney.

Earlier on Saturday night, NSW Health issued alerts for five interstate Virgin Airlines flights that an infected aircrew member worked on.

On Sunday, the number of cases linked to the Great Ocean Foods seafood wholesaler in Sydney’s Marrickville rose to 11. The Virgin aircraft member is linked to the wholesaler.

Additional cases were associated with a birthday party hosted in West Hoxton in Sydney’s west, which is linked to new cases detected in Melbourne from a person who attended.

Also in NSW, sewage testing detected fragments of the virus in the Port Kembla sewage network, but there were no further detections in the Bourke sewage network after a detection on 22 June.

On Sunday, the state’s chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, confirmed the Westmead vaccination hub was a potential exposure site but assured people that it was safe to get vaccinated.

“Can I just assure people that all the staff were wearing masks, the clinic was deep-cleaned, there is social distancing at the clinic,” Chant said. She also said the person did not walk through the hospital, as the vaccination clinic had separate, outdoor entrances.

“It is critical that we continue to get vaccinated,” she said.

Chant said contact tracers had taken a “very conservative” approach and had contacted people “who attended before and after” the infectious person attended. She said the person was not aware they were positive, and they were later told they were a close contact of another site and were tested.

The alert sent to close contacts told people who attended the hub on 22 June that they would have to get tested and isolate until 6 July.

In a statement, Graeme Loy, the chief executive of the Western Sydney Local Health District, told Guardian Australia: “No transmission from this case to other people in the facility has been identified at this point.”

All people at the vaccination hub are required to wear masks while waiting and while being vaccinated, and have their temperature checked before entry.

Further exposure sites in Sydney were publicly announced on Saturday night, including: the Lyfe Cafe in Bondi all day on Thursday 24 June; the Reading Cinema in Auburn for a screening of Fast & Furious 9 on Sunday 20 June at 6.30pm; and Adora Handmade Chocolates in Earlwood on Tuesday 22 June between 3.20pm and 3.45pm.

On Saturday afternoon, the premier had announced a two-week lockdown effective from 6pm that day, applying to greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong.

An empty Kings Cross on Saturday night as a lockdown was imposed on greater Sydney.
An empty Kings Cross on Saturday night as a lockdown was imposed on greater Sydney. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Earlier on Friday, the state had announced a lockdown only for four local government areas.


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