A man in his early 70s has died of coronavirus, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says, bringing the NSW death toll to 55.
- One infectious case visited eight venues and drove a taxi for eight days
- Patrons of venues in Campbelltown, Mollymook and Ulladulla are in isolation
- The case is linked to Liverpool Hospital, though not to the emergency department cluster
His case was traced back to one of the Sydney CBD clusters.
He died yesterday at Sydney’s Royal North Shore hospital.
A total of 55 people have now died of coronavirus in NSW.
Ms Berejiklian confirmed two new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, one in hotel quarantine.
The other was a Sydney taxi driver who tested positive for coronavirus after working eight days while infectious and visiting several venues in Sydney and on the South Coast.
NSW Health said the confirmed coronavirus case drove in western and south-west Sydney on September 8-10 and 14-18.
People who rode in taxis in Moorebank, Bankstown, Chipping Norton, Liverpool, Lidcombe, Warwick Farm and Milperra may have been affected.
NSW Health confirmed they were working with 13CABS to contact passengers who were at risk of infection.
Health authorities said anyone who visited a list of six venues including restaurants, golf clubs and service clubs in Sydney’s west, south-west and on the South Coast, were also at risk.
People are considered a close contact of the taxi driver, and must seek testing and immediately isolate, if they spent more than an hour at:
- Campbelltown Golf Club, Glen Alpine on September 16 from 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Milton Ulladulla Ex Servos Club on 12 September 12 from 2:00pm-6:15pm
- Carlo’s Italian Restaurante Bar & Seafood, Ulladulla on September 12 from 8:00pm-9:30pm
- Bannisters Pavilion Rooftop Bar & Grill, Mollymook on September 13, 12:30pm-2:15pm
- Mama Wok, MacArthur Square Campbelltown on September 9, from 1:30pm-2:30pm
“They must stay isolated for the entire period, even if a negative test result is received,” NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said.
Anyone who visited the venues for less than an hour is considered a casual contact, which means they need to monitor for symptoms including a fever, dry cough or tiredness.
In addition to the above, people should monitor for symptoms if they visited:
- Picnic Point Bowling Club on September 18 from 3:00pm-6:00pm
- Campbelltown Golf Club on September 16 from 9:30am-2:00pm
- Wray St Oyster Shed Batemans Bay on September 12 from 12:00pm-1:00pm
NSW Health said early investigations into the source of infection indicate the taxi driver may have caught the virus at Liverpool Hospital.
It’s the second time this weekend that a case has been linked to hospitals in Sydney.
On Saturday, health authorities confirmed just one coronavirus case from local transmission, a staff member who worked at Concord Hospital while infectious.
“The case cared for patients with COVID-19 and further investigation is underway to identify how the infection was acquired,” NSW Health said yesterday.
About 13,500 coronavirus swabs were completed yesterday, and Ms Berejiklian acknowledged testing rates dipped on the weekend.
“But it’s still a state of high alert for us in NSW,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian also announced NSW workers would be eligible for paid pandemic leave to the value of $1,500 if they were forced to take time off work for self-isolation.
“If you’re someone who has a job and you don’t have any leave left, you will be paid $1,500 for that fortnight you have to isolate,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Unions NSW said the decision was “welcome, if overdue”.
“No worker should ever have to choose between their health and their livelihood, a point we first made to the Premier months ago,” Union NSW’s Mark Morey said.
Restaurant with open buffet fined
Meanwhile a Korean BBQ restaurant in Strathfield has become the latest venue to be slugged with a $5,000 fine after inspectors found an open buffet where diners were sharing crockery, cutlery and food.
Inspectors visited Butchers Buffet on September 11 and found the restaurant was not spaced to allow a four-square-metre distance between tables.
They noted that there was no COVID-19 marshal on site, and no limit to the amount of patrons noted on the door.
Diners stood shoulder to shoulder while serving themselves at the buffet, sharing utensils.
SafeWork NSW Director Work Health and Safety Metro, Sarina Wise, said she thought COVID-19 breaches “defied logic”.
“Self-serve buffets and pandemics simply don’t mix, creating a source of potentially contaminated items,” Ms Wise said.
“No self-serve, buffet-style food service areas are allowed including communal bar snacks and communal condiments.
“Sharing items on a buffet is clearly a direct line for COVID transmission.”
Inspectors from Liquor & Gaming NSW, SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading this week dished out 23 new fines for restaurants breaking the rules.
Among them, Albion Hotel in Parramatta, Ashfield Bowling Club in Ashfield, Cafe on Monash in Gladesville, Commercial Hotel in Kingsgrove, Collector Hotel in Parramatta, Crown Hotel in Parramatta, Erciyes Turkish Restaurant in Redfern General Bourke in Parramatta, Glasgow Arms Hotel in Ultimo, Indian Leaf in Redfern, La Famiglia Ristorante & Pizzeria in Jindabyne, Lotus Barangaroo in Barangaroo, Maya Da Dhaba in Redfern, Mohr Fish in St Ives, Rosehill Hotel in Rosehill, Oscars Sports Hotel in Bankstown, Rosehill Hotel in Rosehill, Royal Hotel in Darlington, Ship Inn in Sydney, Southern Cross Hotel in St Peters, St Jude Café in Redfern, Thredbo Alpine Hotel and Zushi Restaurant in Barangaroo.
To date, hospitality businesses have been dealt 150 fines totalling $658,000.