Sydney’s North Beach coronavirus cluster has grown in 26 cases, with one man traveling before a positive test in Queensland shutting down more than 20 beaches from Manley to Palm Beach because they are in control of the virus.
New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berezclian called on the whole of Sydney to be “extremely vigilant” and said it would be “insane” to take public transport, go grocery shopping or attend a shrine without a mask.
Genome sequencing revealed that the outbreak was an international strain of American descent, it could be linked to a woman who returned to Australia on 1 December and is still in the Hotel Quarantine.
Ten more people tested positive on the northern beach after 8pm on Thursday, and one person from Queensland who was involved with the bunch, Berezklian said on Friday morning.
The prime minister said “a few people” from other parts of Sydney took part in two North Beach venues that were the main outbreaks of the outbreak, meaning it spread throughout the city.
“They’ve returned to their home in another suburb,” he said. “There is potential seed sowing outside of Avalon and North Beach.”
Later Friday, authorities announced that 21 beaches north of the city would remain closed.
Northern Beach Council and Surf Life Saving NSW have lowered red and yellow flags from Manley to Palm Beach, saying there will only be emergency “surveillance” until Monday.
“We support the government’s call for North Beach residents to stay home for the next few days,” said Steven Pierce, chief executive of Surf Life Saving NSW.
The state’s chief health officer, Dr. Kerry Chant, said the North American beach was an international strain with American origins.
He said preliminary results showed it was found with a “returning” passenger who had entered the hotel quarantine on Dec. 1 and was still receiving treatment.
Chant said the woman was “clearly contagious while on the plane.”
Health Minister Brad Hazard said the woman tested positive while in hotel quarantine and was transferred to a health hotel where she is staying. He said he was not sure the primary source of the infection.
“Work continues to establish what this person’s connection would have been,” he said. “There may be mediation.”
Chant said uncertainty about the source of the bunch was worrying.
“My concern is that we have not found the direct transmission route and we cannot be sure that we have stopped the transmission,” he said.
Although health authorities indicated that the new case number would only be published daily, news of the outbreak began to spread from North Beach by Friday evening.
A new case has been confirmed on the central coast of the state after a woman who sailed from Palm Beach to Wagstaff tested positive on Wednesday. Authorities say the woman is now isolated at home due to her only close contact.
NSW Health has also released an updated list of potential exposure venues, including several numbers outside North Beach. Among them were Cronulla RSL and Siena Marina, a restaurant in the Westfield Shopping Center at Bondi Junction, Ullumulu.
Both Hazard and Berezkillian directed SydneySiders to leave their communities without a community within a week, although none of those involved in the outbreak have been shown to have violated any guidelines.
Hazard said he saw a “creeping complacency” and a “snowfall” of complacency among Sydney residents.
“Everyone in Sydney needs to be very careful no one should use public transport without a mask, no one should go to a grocery store or a place of worship without a mask,” Berezikalian told reporters. It would be insane if people were carrying out these activities without masks. “
Neither Berezklian, Hazard or Chant wore masks at the press conference, although advisers did.
Hazard, who lives on the North Beach, said he had a covid test on Thursday and was self-destruct while waiting for results, which was negative. He is exempt from residents’ request to stay at home as “essential staff.”
Queensland’s Prime Minister Anastasia Palaskzuk said the woman who tested positive in Queensland had returned to the NSW.
The state’s chief health officer, Janet Young, said her fifties woman landed at Brisbane Airport on a flight to Virginia on December 1 and wore a mask on the plane. He said he was “most concerned” about the woman’s lunch at the Glenn Hotel in the Eight Mile Plain.
He also traveled to the Sunshine Coast, but Young said that apart from the hotel receptionist, he had “otherwise there is no extensive communication”.
“We’re sure we’ll find someone who comes in contact with that person,” he said.
Queensland has announced that anyone arriving in the state from Saturday after being on the North Beach local government area since 11 December will have to go to Hotel Quarantine for 14 days. People who have already been on the North Beach in Queensland since 11 December must be self-isolated at home or in their homes.
Police said they would start randomly stopping cars and meet with all flights arriving in Queensland to check if they had people from North Beach.
There were 12 people on a plane that landed in North Queensland on Friday and went to North Beach, police said.
Victoria and Western Australia also said those arriving from the North Beach should go to Hotel Quarantine and advised all their residents to avoid traveling to any part of New South Wales.
At NSW, Berezklian also announced how the state would change its guidelines for international aviation segregation in Sydney. Victoria quickly followed suit.
From Tuesday, all aircrews will be separated into two nominated hotels, with only 25 or 2 to 2, Berezklian said.
He said the airline’s crew had previously violated the guidelines.
“A few weeks ago there was an airline crew who violated their isolation and went to the venue,” he said.
“The issue is not our established guidelines, unfortunately there are a few occasions where people have violated the guidelines or in fact they should not be separated when they should.
“There will be no chance of disobedience from Tuesday.”
NSW police later said 13 aircrew were fined for violating segregation requirements after arriving on a flight from South America on Dec. 5.
Chant made it clear that there were no further lawsuits involving the van drivers who worked at Sydney Airport and who transported them to their hotel quarantine and aircrew.
The man from south-west Sydney tested positive on Wednesday, becoming the first locally acquired case in the state since December 3.
Chant said the man’s close contacts tested negative and are still in a state of self-isolation. He said genomic sequencing indicated that his strain was probably a “strain in the United States” that was “consistent with the hypothesis” that he had caught the virus from an international aircraft crew.