NSW Health says the Northern Beaches COVID-19 cluster has grown to 17 cases and it has directed all residents in the area to limit their movements.
- Residents on the Northern Beaches have been asked to avoid unnecessary travel out of the area
- NSW Health believes the virus may have spread between people at the Avalon RSL
- Queensland and Western Australia have imposed new rules in response to the growing cluster
Authorities believe all the cases are linked and have urged all residents within the Northern Beaches local government area to stay at home.
Residents have been advised to work from home, keep to their household group and avoid all unnecessary gatherings.
“Do not visit friends or relatives in aged care facilities or hospitals unless [it is] essential,” a NSW Health statement said.
“Avoid visiting high-risk venues including clubs, restaurants, places of worship and gyms.”
Residents have also been urged to avoid unnecessary travel outside their area, while those in other locations have been told to avoid travel into the Northern Beaches.
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The director of NSW Health’s COVID response branch, Jeremy McAnulty, said he was concerned.
“The new cases are mostly in the northern part of the Northern Beaches. We are currently investigating where they all are and where they may have been,” Dr McAnulty said.
“We are asking people on the Northern Beaches to help keep the community safe.
“Please work from home and stay at home as much as possible for the next three days.
“We know this is hard, but it is important we all work together to contain this outbreak.
“Anybody who has even the slightest symptoms, please come forward as soon as they appear so we can find cases.”
People queuing outside Mona Vale Hospital this morning to get tested.(AAP Image: Dean Lewins)
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said authorities were working on a theory the virus spread may have originated at the Avalon RSL.
Authorities are urging everyone who attended the club on December 11 to get tested.
A man in his 60s from Frenchs Forest tested positive today after performing with his band at the club on that day.
He has been travelling extensively with the band.
Testing orders are also in place for anyone who attended the Penrith RSL Club on December 13 (from 1:00pm to 6:00pm) and the Kirribilli Club on December 14 (12:00pm to 3:00pm).
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Earlier today, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced aged care homes in the Northern Beaches would be locked down.
It came as a woman who works at the Pittwater Palms Retirement Village at Avalon tested positive.
Residents and staff at Pittwater Palms Retirement Village who have come into contact with the staff member have been asked to get tested immediately and self-isolate.
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In response to the growing cluster, Queensland and Western Australia have imposed new restrictions.
From midday tomorrow, anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches region since December 11 will not be able to visit Queensland residential aged care centres, hospitals or correctional facilities.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, said anyone considering visiting the Northern Beaches should consider the risk of the area becoming a hotspot.
The West Australian Government said anyone who had arrived from NSW since December 11 must get tested and self-isolate within a day.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said because of the “evolving situation in NSW [we are] taking immediate steps under its controlled border arrangements to further protect WA”.
Victorian and South Australian authorities have told the ABC they are not looking to close their borders to NSW at this time but will monitor the situation.
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