A person working at a Western Sydney hospital is among six new cases of coronavirus in New South Wales.
The worker took shifts in the cardiology and radiology wards at Concord General Repatriation Hospital while potentially infectious last Tuesday through Thursday (January 12-14).
NSW Health Director Dr. Kerry Chant said officials are communicating with staff who worked with the employee, but said they only had “minimal” interaction with patients.
“There are also several staff members who have been identified as casual contacts and are being followed up by the Public Health Unit,” said Dr. Chant.
“But the role of the person involves minimal contact with the patient and he also wore a mask during each of his shifts.”
They include the person’s partner and children.
The sixth person is described as a “very close contact” of the family, NSW health officials said.
“The cases are very close to Berala and investigations are ongoing,” said New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Seven close contacts have tested negative, but have been quarantined for 14 days.
Last night 12,764 tests were reported as of 8pm, a decrease from yesterday’s numbers.
Authorities repeated calls for people in western Sydney to get tested, saying it is the only way restrictions like the size of gatherings will be eased again.
“The areas where I’m asking for tests in particular are Bankstown, Lidcombe, Auburn, Berala and Wentworthville,” said Dr. Kerry Chant, NSW’s health director.
Berejiklian has again said that New South Wales “is not a hotbed of viruses”, encouraging other state and territorial leaders to open the borders.
“Of course, we are dealing with the outcome of an outbreak a month ago, but I think everyone would agree that closing such an important border is really important,” he said.
“Those decisions are difficult, they affect a lot of people and I would just ask people to really think about those decisions before making them.”
Previously, NSW Health issued new COVID-19 alerts after a person with the virus traveled by public transport in western Sydney.
People who traveled on five trains between Warwick Farm and Auburn are also considered casual contacts of a positive case.
Anyone who has visited the following locations has been asked to be tested immediately and to isolate themselves until a negative result:
- Train leaving Warwick Farm and arriving in Auburn on Thursday, January 14 between 2:20 pm and 2:56 pm
- Train leaving from Auburn and arriving at Warwick Farm on Thursday, January 14 between 8:27 pm and 8:58 pm
- Train leaving Warwick Farm and arriving in Auburn on Friday, January 15 between 10:40 am and 11:12 am
- Train leaving Auburn and arriving at Warwick Farm on Friday, January 15 between 1:44 pm and 2:16 pm
- Train leaving Warwick Farm and arriving in Auburn on Friday, January 15 between 4:28 a.m. and 4:58 a.m.
Locations also include a Centrelink in Auburn and a medical center in Wentworthville.