Australia

NSW records three new coronavirus cases as Sydney security guard gets fined for not isolating

A Sydney hotel quarantine security guard diagnosed with COVID-19 has been fined $2,000 for visiting an inner-west shopping complex and Service NSW building before his test results were known.

The 22-year-old Campsie man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Saturday, the second security guard at the Marriott hotel in Sydney to catch the virus.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Monday said investigations are still underway to determine if the second guard’s case is linked to the original security guard, who was last week confirmed virus-positive.

The second ill guard worked at the Marriott and shared a shift with the other guard on 3 August. The newly-diagnosed guard also worked at Sydney’s Sheraton Grand Hyatt Park hotel on the night of 16 August.

NSW Police on Sunday fined the second security guard, saying he was tested on Thursday afternoon but then immediately visited Westfield Burwood to shop.

The following afternoon he went to the Service NSW building in Burwood.

On both occasions he did not yet know his COVID-positive status, and all visitors at those times should monitor for respiratory symptoms.

The man is now in a NSW Health quarantine facility and has been hit with two penalty infringement notices for failing to comply with self-isolation directions.

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The 22-year-old’s case was originally uncovered as part of a week-long testing blitz of 700 contacts of the first guard who fell ill.

NSW recorded three new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday with just one acquired locally – a contact of a previous case.

The close contact has been in isolation during their infectious period.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said it was a pleasing result but authorities remain concerned about NSW’s rate of community transmission, particularly in western and southwestern Sydney.

The premier noted there have been some 15 COVID-19 cases in those areas over the past few weeks that have not been linked to known clusters.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

AAP

Seven COVID-19 patients in NSW are in intensive care, with five ventilated.

“NSW has fared the past six or seven weeks as best as we can but of course it’s been an enormous community effort,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters, referring to the period in which Victoria has battled a significant COVID-19 outbreak.

“We’re at the tail end of what we envisaged would be a particularly critical period, but we’re certainly not out of the woods.”

Ms Berejiklian also said she wouldn’t close the NSW border to Queensland despite a COVID-19 outbreak at a Brisbane youth detention centre. Queensland has shut its border to NSW since early August.

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Elsewhere, Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook in Sydney’s northwest – which has been linked to 27 coronavirus cases to date – is due to reopen on Monday after being closed for two weeks.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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