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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Guard sparks new COVID wave fears

A security guard has tested positive to COVID-19 while working at a Sydney quarantine hotel, sparking fears of a new wave of cases across NSW.

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said the security guard had worked at the Marriott Hotel in Circular Quay on August 3, 4, 7 and 8 and may have become infected after coming into contacted with a returned traveller from the USA.

More worryingly though, before knowing he was infected with the deadly virus, the guard had worked at Sydney’s Flemington Markets on August 9 (8am to 4pm), at Parramatta Local Court on August 10 and 11 (8.30am to 12.30pm) and also at Bankstown Central Shopping Centre on August 8 between 10am and 3pm, potentially putting him in contact with thousands of people.

NSW Health has advised anyone who visited those locations to monitor their health and get tested if symptoms develop.

“This person has worked in a variety of settings, a lot of which would have brought him into contact with other people, particularly in areas concerned about community transmission,” Dr Chant said.

She said genome sequencing revealed that the guard’s infection was not linked to previously known outbreaks originating from Victoria.

“What that’s identified is that it’s quite a different sequence to other clusters such as the Crossroads Hotel,” said Dr Chant.

“This is a different virus, and matches this [overseas traveller].

Dr Chant said she didn’t believe a breach of safety standards had occurred at the quarantine hotel but said an investigation was underway.

“NSW Police are working with NSW Health in terms of the investigation,’ said NSW Police Assistant Commissioner, Leanne McCusker.

The state recorded three new cases of COVID-19 today, after detecting seven new cases yesterday.

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