NSW records first COVID-19 case in 26 days in hotel quarantine staffer – but restrictions still to ease

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The state’s clear run of no community transmission came to an end yesterday after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for the virus on 2 December 2020 – but authorities are pushing on with lifting restrictions.

The female housekeeper contracted the virus while working at the Novotel and Ibis hotels in Darling Harbour, one of which accommodates returned travellers under quarantine.

The source of the infection is still under investigation after authorities were unable to determine whether the case was a community transmission or the result of her work in a quarantine hotel.

Staff who worked with the employee between November 28 and 30 at the Novotel Sydney, or at the Ibis hotel on 27 November, both in Darling Harbour, have been urged to self-isolate and get tested.

The woman also travelled from Minto to Central Station before catching a Light Rail from Central to Darling Harbour between November 27 and 30.

Both VIC and SA remain clear

NSW Health is urging anyone who was in those areas at the time to get tested and self-isolate immediately.

Despite the new case and its unknown origin, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured above) confirmed some COVID-19 restrictions would continue to ease next week including for hospitality, stadiums, theatres and public outdoor gatherings.

“We’re deeply grateful that since the beginning of the pandemic, the community has taken our advice,” Ms Berejiklian told media on Wednesday.

“I’m pleased that because of that, we are in the strong position we are today and from Monday life will be very more different in NSW.”

The scare comes as both Victoria and South Australia continued their streak of 34 and five consecutive days with no new COVID cases.


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