Multiple staff members at a KFC in Punchbowl are confirmed to have tested positive to COVID-19. This saddening statistic was announced by NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant during Friday’s presser.

The cluster of 12 new COVID-19 cases were part of the record-high 291 new cases that were recorded overnight in NSW.

“There are 12 staff members at the KFC at Punchbowl on Canterbury Road. They have tested positive to COVID,” said Dr Kerry Chant.

“Anyone who attended the venue at any time in the seven days from Tuesday, July 27- August 2, including all close contacts, must isolate and get tested regardless of results.”

Chant also made sure to highlight how this case is a very good example of how quickly COVID-19 can spread in a single workplace.

“This highlights that when you have one [infected] person introduced to a workplace, you then have 12 people who become infected because we don’t all maintain social distancing. We don’t wear our masks correctly. We don’t all get tested promptly.

“I am not saying this is related to the KFC, so do not take it like that… but it gives you an example of when [COVID] gets into a workplace.”

When asked why places like KFC were not closed during this time, Chant said that this was due to the “balance of access to food and other things that people need,” and that people should minimise their time outside during the current lockdown.

As with most KFC joints across Sydney, a majority of the workers are either poorly paid, student workers, or both.

An issue like this reminds us of how vulnerable young people are in this situation, who are working jobs that are considered essential just to make a relatively low wage, especially in western Sydney.

This is no time for jokes, it’s time to remind ourselves how impacted our young workers are by the negligence of people spreading this disease in the community without isolating.

Some commenters said it best in response to the NSW Health tweet announcing this statistic.

No fkn jokes in the comments. This all fkn sucks.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

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