Health alerts issued in Newcastle as region records two new COVID-19 cases

Health alerts issued in Newcastle as region records two new COVID-19 cases

Two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have put Hunter New England Health (HNEH) on high alert for community transmission in the Newcastle region, with the body issuing a number of health alerts today.

Pubs, venues and last Sunday's Newcastle Jets match at McDonald Jones Stadium are on the list of locations visited by the COVID-19 cases.

The two new cases are a male teenager and a man in his 20s. The source of infection for the teenager is unknown and still under investigation, but the man in his 20s is a close contact of the teenager.

The two cases bring the total number of new COVID-19 infections in NSW at 8pm on 5 August to 12, with none of the new cases connected to hotel quarantine.

HNEH 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
  • Greenroof Bar and Restaurant, Hamilton Friday 31 July, from 10.00pm to 12 midnight
  • The Hopsmith Sports Bar, Wests New Lambton Sunday 2 August, from 5.00pm to 7.30pm.
  • Queens Wharf Hotel Saturday 1 August from 9.30pm to 11.00 pm
  • Sydney Junction Hotel, Hamilton Saturday 1 August, from 12 midnight to 1.30am Sunday 2 August
  • McDonald Jones Stadium Sunday 2 August, 7:30pm to end of game, Newcastle Jets match

The infected teenager is a student at St Pius X High School (Adamstown) and attended school on Monday 3 August.

The school has been closed to allow for contact tracing to occur and for thorough cleaning.

The teenager caught the Number 26 school bus (Hamilton to Adamstown) to school on Monday 3 August, at 8.20am. All people on the bus at this time will be required to isolate for 14 days and seek testing.

He is also a team member of the Newcastle Jets under 15's representative squad who played a soccer match against the Stanmore Hawks at Arlington Oval in Dulwich Hill on 1 August. His team mates and the members of the opposing team are considered close contacts and will be required to isolate for 14 days.

With the identification of additional cases in the Newcastle area, the region 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," says public health controller for HNEH's COVID-19 response Dr Kat Taylor.

"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.

Updated at 11:09am AEST on 6 August 2020.

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