06 August 2020

Since Hunter New England Health’s update this morning, the Public Health unit has undertaken further investigation and revised its advice regarding locations in Newcastle linked to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

This morning a male in his 20s was confirmed as having COVID-19. This individual is a close contact of the teenager announced yesterday. The District is continuing to investigate the source of that case’s infection.

Hunter New England Local Health District is urging anyone who attended the following venues at the specified times to immediately self-isolate and seek testing:

  • Bennett Hotel, Hamilton – Friday 31 July, from 5.30pm to 10.00pm
  • Bar 88, Wests New Lambton – Sunday 2 August, from 5.00pm to 7.15pm
  • Sydney Junction Hotel, Hamilton – Saturday 1 August, from 11pm midnight to 1.15am Sunday 2 August

The venues have been notified and are undergoing cleaning. Contact tracing is underway.

Hunter New England Health also urges any patrons who visited the following venues at the times specified to be alert for symptoms, and if any develop to get tested and self-isolate immediately:

  • Greenroof Bar and Restaurant, Hamilton – Friday 31 July, from 10.30pm to 12.15 midnight
  • Sushi Revolution, Hamilton on Saturday 1 August, from 12noon to 12.45pm
  • Queens Wharf Hotel – Saturday 1 August from 9.30pm to 11.00pm
  • McDonald Jones Stadium – Sunday 2 August, 7:30pm to end of game, Newcastle Jets match

The above public health recommendations follow a rigorous contact tracing process where an infected individual’s movements and interactions are analysed. This enables the Public Health unit to determine if there was a reasonable chance other individuals may have been infected with the virus. In this case they would be considered a close contact and required to self-isolate until 14 days after they last saw the person or attended a place where that person visited, even if they are feeling well.

Casual contact includes instances where transmission is less likely. Casual contacts are not required to self-isolate, but are still encouraged to seek testing should they develop symptoms.

Dr Kat Taylor, Public Health Controller for Hunter New England Health’s COVID-19 response said that Hunter New England Health is still working to identify any further contacts or venues visited by both individuals, and further updates will be provided as more information becomes available. All close contacts will be notified and required to isolate for 14 days.

“It is vital people in the community continue to present for testing if experiencing symptoms to limit the spread of the virus.

“I encourage everyone to follow directions they receive about home isolation and quarantine,and maintain COVID-safe practices of physical distancing, coughing or sneezing into their elbow, and regularly washing their hands,” she said.

With the identification of additional cases in the Newcastle area, the District is expecting an increase in the demand for testing.

“To ensure we can best serve the community during this time, we have enhanced our local testing capability.

“In addition to expanding our call centre capacity and the number of phone lines available to improve booking wait times, we will extend hours and capacity at a number of local clinics.

“However, please be patient if visiting a clinic or calling for a booking. We have thousands of testing opportunities throughout the course of today and will see people as quickly as possible,” Dr Taylor said.

See the complete list of COVID-19 testing clinics and booking details.