Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued an ominous warning for NSW residents as new cases of coronavirus spreading through two Sydney hospitals reveal new COVID dangers.
Announcing nine new cases on Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian begged residents to not consider wearing a mask a complete defence against the virus, which currently has hundreds of people in isolation, awaiting test results.
She said there had been a number of new cases over the past few days that health authorities believe are linked to surfaces, rather than transmission through the air.
“Please be careful about surfaces, please be careful about what you’re touching,” she said.
“If you have a symptom you have to stay home, and isolate.”
Of Wednesday’s new cases only one was from hotel quarantine. Seven are linked to a known cluster, and one case in south eastern Sydney has not been linked to any known source.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said two of the new cases are linked to the Sydney CBD cluster, with one attending the City Tattersalls Gym and another a household contact of a known case.
Five are linked to Concord and Liverpool Hospitals; two healthcare workers, one patient and two household contacts of that patient.
The healthcare workers may have worked at the hospital while infectious, but reported having no symptoms while at work, and wore PPE while interacting with patients.
Investigations into the source of the outbreak are ongoing.
Concord Hospital closed its doors to all visitors on Wednesday and will not reopen until 10am on Friday after multiple staff members tested positive to coronavirus.
Non-essential surgery will also be postponed during this time.
Sydney Local Health District said in a statement all staff who had so far tested positive were in isolation, while those identified as contacts are being tested and also isolating at home for 14 days.
More than 100 staff are believed to be in isolation, and the hospital will undergo a deep clean while its doors are closed.
There are now 12 cases associated with the Concord and Liverpool hospitals, and health authorities believe the virus may have been spread through a surface, as staff were wearing masks.
A spokeswoman for Liverpool Hospital told NCA NewsWire there had been no change to visiting hours for their hospital.
COVID patients visited two pubs and a dumpling restaurant in Sydney’s west on Friday and Saturday.
NSW Health is currently contact tracing and contacting anyone identified as a close contact, but anyone awho attended these venues at the following times must get tested for coronavirus and isolate for 14 days, regardless of their test result.
- Albion Hotel, Parramatta Beer Garden and Pavilion, on Saturday 5 September between 8.15pm – 11.15pm for at least an hour.
- The Crocodile Farm Hotel, Ashfield on Friday 4 September between 5.30pm – 6.30pm for at least an hour.
- The New Shanghai Night restaurant, Ashfield on Friday 4 September between 6.30pm -8pm for at least an hour.
A shopping centre, pub and two trains have also been linked to positive COVID cases. Anyone who visited the following venues at thee times should consider themselves a casual contact, get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
- Macquarie Shopping Centre, including Food Court, Coco Tea, Myer, Time Zone and Tommy gun’s Barbershop, on Saturday 5 September from 2:00pm – 5:00pm.
- The Railway Hotel, Liverpool on Friday 4 September from 10:00pm – 11:30pm.
- T1/T9 North Shore Line on 7 September between 9:17 – 9:29am from Milson‘s Point to St Leonards
- T1/T9 North Shore Line on 7 September between 9:53 – 10:14am from St Leonard‘s to Milsons Point