A Covid-infected Bondi Junction worker who attended a house party with 30 people spread the virus to at least nine others without realising he was infected.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant announced on Wednesday that 13 new cases were recorded overnight, bringing Sydney’s Bondi cluster to 31.
The majority of the new cases stem from a birthday party on Saturday in West Hoxton, in western Sydney, which included the Bondi Junction Westfield worker.
The man aged in his 30s was not suffering any symptoms but was tested the next day when they developed and received a positive result on Monday.
Eight of the 13 new cases announced on Wednesday are linked to a birthday party in Sydney’s west that was attended by an unknowingly infectious worker from Bondi Junction Westfield (pictured)
All party attendees were ordered into self-isolation, with eight partygoers who came forward for testing on Tuesday found to have contracted the virus.
A day before, a two-year-old child who attended Little Zak’s childcare in Narellan Vale, near Campbelltown, on Monday.
Dr Chant said the outbreak demonstrated how quickly transmission could occur.
‘There were about 30 people at that gathering in a house and the person was unknowingly infectious, did not have symptoms, and had not attended venues,’ Dr Chant said.
‘What you can see is that those test results indicate how quickly the virus was transmitted in that circumstance… And that is on day two after exposure.
Those who live and work in seven hotspot suburbs will not be allowed to leave metropolitan Sydney unless they have an essential reason
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has introduced a raft of new restrictions across Sydney in light of the growing outbreak
‘All those individuals would have unknowingly had the infection on Monday.’
Contact tracers are scrambling to determine exposure sites visited by the positive cases.
The Bondi cluster began last week after a Sydney Airport limousine driver tested positive to the highly-infectious Delta variant, which started spreading at Bondi Junction’s busy Westfield shopping centre.
In light of the additional 13 cases, Ms Berejiklian introduced new restrictions across the city and surrounds to contain the outbreak.
Ms Berejiklian said the restrictions are ‘effective immediately’ for Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour – though they begin at 4pm.
‘Please abandon non-essential activities, please don’t attend social gatherings unless you absolutely must,’ the premier said on Wednesday.
‘I am not going to rule out further action.’
Residents who live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas cannot travel outside the metropolitan area unless it’s absolutely essential.
The man, aged in his 30s, attended a birthday party in West Hoxton on Monday while unknowingly infectious
WHAT IS METROPOLITAN SYDNEY?
Metropolitan Sydney includes:
‘We don’t want the virus to spread to the regions,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
NSW recorded 10 locally-acquired cases to 8pm on Tuesday, seven of which were already announced.
Of those 10 cases, Dr Chant said only two were not in isolation – the Bondi Junction worker and a nine-year-old child who attends the Saint Charles Catholic primary School in Waverley.
The school has closed for three days for contact tracing and cleaning, with students and staff identified as close contacts now isolating.
The additional 13 cases were reported after 8pm, and will be counted in Thursday’s official tally.
Overall, there have been 16 new cases taking the total number of infections to 31, up from 21 on Tuesday.
Under the new restrictions, household visitors are limited to five people, including children, and masks are now compulsory in non-residential indoor settings – including workplaces – and at large outdoor events.
Sydney’s eastern suburbs cluster has ballooned to 31 after 13 new Covid cases were recorded overnight. Pictured: The Bondi Beach Drive-through COVID-19 Clinic with long lines stretching along Campbell Parade on June 23
Masks must also be worn to gym classes, which limited to 20 people.
More than 44,000 tests were completed in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.
The rise in infections is a blow for the city and many school holiday plans are now in chaos.
Just two days before public schools break for two weeks, Queensland followed Victoria and New Zealand by imposing bans on travellers from much of Sydney.
From 1am Thursday, Queensland will close its border to people from the City of Sydney and the Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West, and Randwick local government areas. Waverley was already on the list.
‘To keep Queenslanders safe, we will be following exactly what Victoria has announced last night,’ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
‘This advice may have to be updated during the course of the day or into the evening.’
Other Australian states have imposed border restrictions for people from the hotspot areas, with Victoria on Tuesday declared seven Sydney local government areas ‘red zones’.
Earlier on Wednesday, NSW Health issued a health alert after a person infected with the virus flew from Sydney to New Zealand and back.
The alert was for passengers travelling on Qantas flight QF163 on Friday night to Wellington, and anyone who flew on Monday morning on Air New Zealand flight NZ247 from Wellington to Sydney.
Passengers on board those flights must contact NSW Health immediately, get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.
Meanwhile, a childcare centre 60km southwest of Sydney’s CBD, confirmed in a Facebook post it was closed for deep cleaning after a child who attended the centre on Monday tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night.
‘The girl and her family are doing well and resting at home,’ Little Zak’s Academy in Narellan Vale posted on Wednesday.
NEW COVID-19 RULES FOR GREATER SYDNEY
From 4pm Wednesday for one week:
Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children;
Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people);
Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;
Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced