The Newcastle man whose trip to the pub allegedly sparked a super spreader event that significantly contributed to NSW’s massive spike in COVID cases has been fined $10,000.
The 20-year-old was ordered by NSW Health to isolate after he was told he was the close contact of a known case on December 8.
But on December 10 he threw caution to the wind and went to a 1970s-themed prom night at the The Argyle House nightclub in Newcastle.
He then tested positive and actually finally started isolating.
Of the 680 patrons who checked in to the Newcastle event, more than 200 have since tested positive for COVID, making it one of the biggest super spreader events in the world.
Some infectious attendees of the party then travelled to a Taylor Swift Red party at the Metro Theatre in Sydney on December 10, which then saw hundreds of attendees considered close contacts and ordered to isolate.
NSW Police confirmed the man has been slapped with two Penalty Infringement Notices totalling $10,000 for failing to comply with directions.
Young Aussies who attended the Newcastle event have now been roasting the man on TikTok for infecting them.
The pub has also shut its doors until the new year.
“We are devastated that just as things were looking to return to a ‘new normal’, we have unknowingly been one of the transmission sites for this current wave of Covid infections,” said Argyle House in a statement.
“We’re heartbroken to see the effect this has had on so many individuals and businesses in Newcastle.”
The outbreak also forced Newcastle’s Lunar Electric Festival to cancel on Thursday, just two days out.
This fine comes after a number of restrictions were eased in NSW including scrapping the mask mandate except in select settings like airports, hospitals, and public transport. Despite Premier Dominic Perrottet’s decision, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has urged people to keep wearing masks amid the climbing numbers.
Unvaccinated people are now also allowed the same freedoms as vaccinated, so vaccine statuses are no longer required at venues; it is now at the venue’s discretion.
NSW’s cases jumped from just over 1700 yesterday to 2,213 today – the highest the state has ever recorded in a 24 hour period.
Experts are now warning this is just the beginning. Modelling by the University of New South Wales suggests that unless the the current reproduction rate of 1.5 is slowed, the state will experience 25,000 cases per day by January.
We thought it was going to be a Hot Vaxxed Summer but maybe this is where we manage expectations. Fingers crossed, and stay safe.