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NSW COVID-19: Hotel quarantine worker in Sydney tests positive

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Hotel quarantine worker in Sydney tests positive to COVID-19 – ruining NSW’s 25-day streak of no new infections and plunging hopes of restrictions easing into doubt

  • A hotel quarantine worker in Sydney tested positive to COVID-19 on Wednesday
  • The woman has been working at the Novotel and IBIS hotels in Darling Harbour
  •  NSW Health said urgent genome sequencing is underway find the source 


A hotel quarantine worker has tested positive to COVID-19, ending New South Wales‘ 25-day virus-free streak.

The woman has been working at the Novotel and IBIS hotels in Sydney’s Darling Harbour where returned travellers have been staying. 

NSW Health said urgent genome sequencing is underway to determine whether this is an infection acquired in the community or through work at the hotel quarantine facility.

Her family, who live in Minto, have returned negative tests, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

Anyone in the Minto area who have coronavirus symptoms are being asked to get tested. 

‘At 1.22am, I was advised in writing that we had found one case here in Sydney of COVID-19,’ he said.

‘We had up until 8pm to last night, we would have been saying today is a 26 day without any cases, but we now have one case. She worked at the Novotel and the Ibis at Darling Harbour.’

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The new case comes after NSW began easing more social distancing restrictions following 25 days without any community transmission. 

On Wednesday, Gladys Berejiklian announced capacity limits at restaurants, bars, churches and cafes would increase, with the restrictive 4-square-metre rule replaced with the 2-square-metre rule.

Nightclubs can reopen with up to 50 people allowed on the dance floor at any one time from Monday next week. 

Stand-up drinking will be allowed once again, but only in outdoor settings including beer gardens and roof bars.

Revellers in pubs and bars will have to stay seated at indoor venues.

But hours later New South Wales Health issued an urgent warning Sydney residents living in 12 suburbs after fragments were found in sewage at a water treatment plant.

The warning was raised on Wednesday after health authorities detected the virus in the sewage system that drains Riverstone, Vineyard, Marsden Park, Shanes Park, Quakers Hill, Oakville, Box Hill, The Ponds, Rouse Hill, Nelson, Schofields and Colebee in the city’s north-west.

The alert follows a handful of similar discoveries in sewage water across Australia’s east coast in recent weeks despite almost non-existent levels of community transmission. 

More to come 


October 30 – Coronavirus particles were detected in wastewater in the Brisbane bayside suburb of Wynnum.

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Anyone living in Ipswich or Wynnum was urged to get tested if they start developing coronavirus symptoms.  

November 20 – Residents in five suburbs of Melbourne’s west were urged to get tested for the virus after particles were found in sewage in the Altona area

November 20 – A coronavirus alert was issued for the New South Wales town of Batemans Bay on the state’s south coast after fragments of the virus were found in wastewater.

November 24 – 40 Sydney suburbs across the city’s south-west were put on high alert after COVID-19 fragments were found in a sewage catchment.

November 26 – Seventeen suburbs were put on high alert after traces of the virus was found in a Cairns sewage catchment.

The far north Queensland city had only recorded 35 since the pandemic began when the discovery was made

December 2 – Urgent alert raised for tens of thousands of Sydney residents living in 12 suburbs across city’s north-west after coronavirus particles were found in a treatment plant.



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