A climbing gym in Villawood, Western Sydney, has been identified as the most likely source of a cluster of Omicron COVID-19 cases.
It’s connected to the outbreak at Regents Park Christian School, which has reported 13 cases of COVID-19 including three cases of the Omicron variant.
As a result, anyone who visited Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym at Villawood on November 27 between 9am and 4.30pm is now considered a close contact and should get tested for COVID-19 and isolate for seven days.
According to the ABC, NSW Health is now focusing its investigation on the gym.
The first case identified at the school was a student who hadn’t been overseas and didn’t have links to anyone who had been overseas. Brad Hazzard, NSW’s Health Minister, has said that health authorities currently have “no idea” how Omicron got into the school.
However, he did also say “I think transmission is always a concern but we need to keep it in perspective at the moment.
“Worldwide, there is not clarity around whether this particular variant is going to cause us anywhere near the problems that the earlier variants caused us.”
NSW Health says that the 10 Regents Park students who haven’t yet been confirmed to have Omicron are currently undergoing “urgent genome testing” to see whether they’ve contracted the variant.
As a result, the whole school’s been closed for the rest of the year and all staff and students are considered close contacts.
Primarily, health experts are concerned because this cluster of the virus seems to be the result of community transmission.
There are now 13 cases of the Omicron variant in NSW, as two returning travellers also tested positive on December 2. They’re the parents of a child who’d previously tested positive for the variant.
As a result of those cases, NSW Health is now in the process of contacting anyone on flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on November 23rd.
There are also a number of other venues of concern, this time in Chatswood on Sydney’s lower North Shore:
- Mantra Serviced Apartments, Chatswood, Tuesday November 23 and Wednesday December 1, all day
- Vodafone at Westfield Chatswood, November 24, 12.25 to 12.40pm
- Centrelink and Medicare Chatswood, November 24, 2.30 to 4pm
- Priceline at Chatswood Interchange, November 24, 1 to 1.10pm
- Woolworths at Chatswood Interchange, November 24, 1 to 2.30pm
Anyone who visited those locations is now a casual contact and should get tested and isolate until they receive a negative COVID-19 result.