WTF Is Happening In Casula?

NSW Health says the state counted 14 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, with the majority linked to Casula’s Crossroads Hotel outbreak in Sydney’s south-west.

The news comes as health authorities work to determine the cause of that cluster and fight to keep the outbreak from spreading any further.

Five cases counted yesterday were patrons who visited the hotel, and three are close contacts of those individuals.

Anyone who attended the venue between July 3 and July 10 has been advised to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

“Even if you get a negative test stay in isolation for 14 days,” NSW Health said.

One confirmed case linked to Casula Hotel also attended the nearby Planet Fitness Casula gym, located a few hundred metres from the venue.

In a statement shared to social media yesterday, a gym representative said the infected patron had not visited the site since July 10.

Team members are currently self-isolating at home and have not exhibited symptoms. The gym has also been closed for a deep cleaning operation.

“While the risk to other members is considered low, anyone who attended the gym must watch for respiratory symptoms or fever, and if they occur, isolate and get tested for COVID-19 right away,” NSW Health said.

Speaking to Ben Fordham on 2GB this morning, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant acknowledged potential links between Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak and the Crossroads Hotel cluster, but said it was too early to definitively link the two.

“We do have some linkages to Melbourne, but we need some further diagnostic tests to really nail this investigation,” Dr Chant said.

“And I think it’s premature for me to indicate that without strong evidence to support that.”

Separately, Dr Chant said a small group of Australian Defence Force personnel have been placed in isolation at an Royal Australian Air Force base at Wagga Wagga after visiting the Crossroads Hotel at the same time as infected patrons.

Those individuals were placed in isolation as a precautionary measure and have not displayed any symptoms linked to COVID-19, she said.

Four of Sunday’s tallied cases are from returning travellers in hotel quarantine, and the remaining two are NSW residents who returned from Victoria and entered self-isolation upon their arrival.

The rising tally in NSW has caused serious concerns, with authorities extremely keen for the state not to mirror Victoria’s spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday said the state was prepared make decisions which would “further reduce the risk in the next month in particular of community transmission getting to a stage where it is out of control.”