Victorians from NSW exposure sites ordered to quarantine as more cases expected

Victorian Health authorities are contacting anyone who has travelled from Sydney since last Friday, as NSW awaits genomic sequencing results which will explain how a man became infected with COVID-19 in the community this week.

The Victorian government said it is monitoring the situation closely and has asked residents who attended any of the NSW exposure sites to contact authorities, isolate, get tested and quarantine for 14 days.

Health authorities have requested flight manifests and will step up spot checks on flights from Sydney. They are also messaging people who entered the state after April 30.

Victoria is awaiting the genomic results before making a call on whether to change Sydney from a green permit zone.

The Sydney man, in his 50s with no known links to coronavirus or hotel quarantine, returned a positive result on Wednesday morning triggering exposure site warnings for at least 19 locations across the city.

The Victorian Department of Health on Wednesday evening declared it was treating all exposure sites in Sydney Tier 1.

The department tweets said that all locations in NSW would remain green zones under Victoria’s travel permit system until genomic sequencing results were in for the mystery case.

The list of exposure sites issued by NSW Health includes shops and restaurants in Sydney CBD, Paddington, Bondi Junction, Annandale, Casula, Mascot, Silverwater, Rushcutters Bay, Moore Park, Rose Bay, Brookvale, Collaroy, Balgowlah and Double Bay.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the mysterious origins of the man’s infection meant she expected other cases would be detected.

“If there is one case, and we don’t have an immediate source, or there’s no direct connection that we can establish, we have to assume there are other cases,” she said.

The man’s close contacts are all self-isolating, and at least one of his family members has returned a negative result so far.

It comes as two new cases of coronavirus were recorded in hotel quarantine in Victoria on Thursday, with the total number of active cases in the state’s system to 19. There are currently more than 1800 people undergoing hotel quarantine in Victoria.

More than 16,000 people were tested in Victoria on Wednesday, while 8163 vaccines were administered. In total 239,468 doses of vaccine have been administered in the state to date.

– With Lucy Cormack and Kate Aubusson

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