More than 20 COVID-19 cases have been linked to a Sydney pub outbreak while several other venues across the state have been put on alert after being potentially exposed to the virus.
NSW Health Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said on Monday 10 coronavirus cases were now directly linked to the Crossroads Hotel in southwest Sydney while 11 cases were indirectly connected.
NSW recorded 14 new COVID-19 cases as of 8pm on Sunday with four in hotel quarantine, two are NSW residents who caught the virus in Victoria, and eight linked to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak.
Dr Chant later on Monday confirmed an additional seven cases had been reported up to midday – all linked to the Crossroads Hotel.
“You can see how rapidly COVID can spread if we do not respond promptly,” she told reporters in Sydney.
One of the seven latest cases tested positive after visiting The Star casino in Sydney on July 4.
All patrons of the Casula pub, who entered from July 3 to 10, must self-isolate and are being urged to get tested as a precaution.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection at the pub with further test results expected this week.
While Dr Chant said it was premature to confirm how the outbreak started, she noted it could have been introduced through a Victorian contact.
The pub had a COVID-19 safe plan and authorities were able to get contact details of some patrons but the “issue of implementation” is being investigated, Dr Chant added.
Victorian health authorities also on Monday confirmed two residents had tested positive in the southern state after recently travelling to Merimbula on the southern NSW coast.
Dr Chant listed several venues across the state that may have been exposed to coronavirus through the latest cases between July 4 and 10.
This includes: The Star casino, Merimbula RSL, the Waterfront Cafe in Merimbula, Picton Hotel, Narellan Town Centre, Planet Fitness gym in Casula, Canterbury Leagues Club, Cook at Kurnell, Highfield in Caringbah, Murray Downs Golf Club and Zone Bowling in Villawood.
Anyone who attended the venues between those dates has been urged to watch for symptoms and get tested and isolate if any arise.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott on Monday issued a stern warning to the hospitality industry as well as patrons after the escalation of cases at pubs and clubs.
“We cannot afford to have these sorts of slips when it comes to the restrictions that are in place allowing our hospitality industry to begin the road to recovery,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“Patrons also have to take responsibility. If we have to close hotels and pubs again the patrons will have to take some of the ownership of that.”
Mr Elliott said he has spoken to the Australian Hotels Association and Clubs NSW, and expects further reforms will be implemented to ensure “slip-ups” in guidelines aren’t replicated.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke also called out people flouting social distancing rules.
“The moronic behaviour of people at dance parties has got to stop,” he told reporters.
Mr Cooke also warned if businesses did not comply with public health orders and guidelines, police would take action.
Police are working with Liquor and Gaming to investigate if the Crossroads Hotel breached any guidelines which led to the outbreak at the pub.
Federal MP for Werriwa, Anne Stanley, said she had been tested and gone into self-isolation after dining at the Crossroads Hotel last week.
Several defence force personnel are also isolating after attending the hotel but NSW Health said none of them have tested positive.