Thousands of pub-goers have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks after a hotel staff member and three other people became the latest cases in an emerging coronavirus cluster.
The 18-year-old staffer and a close contact in her 50s, plus a woman in her 40s and a Victorian man in his 20s, who both dined at the venue, were on Sunday confirmed as new cases linked to Sydney’s Crossroads Hotel cluster.
As a result, authorities vastly expanded the requirement on patrons of the Casula pub to self-isolate: originally it was just the 600-odd people who visited on July 3 but as of Sunday it was everyone who entered from 3 July to its closure on 10 July.
The original case was still not known, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said.
“We do not think the staff member was the source,” Dr Chant told reporters on Sunday.
“He worked for a number of days, he did work on the 3rd [and] on subsequent days.”
Five cases have been previously linked to the pub – two patrons who visited on July 3 and three close contacts of one of those patrons.
None of those cases was linked to Victoria’s outbreak.
About 1,200 people had been tested at the pop-up clinic in the pub carpark since Friday.
Chant said all Crossroads patrons and staff should get tested as a precaution and self-isolate for 14 days since their last visit.
“Even if you get a negative test, that does not mean you are out of the woods,” she said. “A negative result does not mean you can breach self-isolation.”
The premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the state was on high alert for community transmission.
“I get extremely concerned and upset when we see people flouting the rules that are in place because that will take us down the path of Victoria,” she said.
“If you wake up with a scratchy throat, don’t go to work. Get tested and stay home.”
The pub outbreak highlighted the importance of businesses recording contact details for every sit-down customer and the public taking the measures seriously, Chant said.
“When you do go into cafes, restaurants and other facilities, there is a reason we ask you for those details,” the state’s top doctor said.
“Please use correct numbers [and] write legibly because this will be in your best interest.”
On Sunday evening, the Queensland deputy premier and minister for health, Steven Miles, urged Queenslanders who had attended the pub to also self-isolate and get tested.
“Any Queenslanders who have been to the Crossroads Hotel from July 3 to July 10 inclusive should get Covid-19 tested as soon as possible and then immediately self-isolate,” Miles said.
“The hotel is a busy stopover for many travellers, so it is very likely that there are a number of Queenslanders who have been there during this period.”