Melbourne suburbs on alert as new COVID-19 case sparks outbreak fears

Pablo Tucker
October 22, 2020

Spectators and workers who attended last weekend's Bathurst 1000 have been warned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and advised to monitor for symptoms after the virus was detected in samples of the town's sewerage.

"We are managing to keep the rate of community transmission very low in NSW with just one overnight", Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today.

"NSW Health is conducting an urgent investigation, including a review of the lists of everyone known to have had the virus, who competed in or worked on the race".

Restrictions have been further eased in NSW, with congregations of up to 300 being allowed at places of worship from Friday after religious leaders complained about "inconsistent" restrictions. A COVID Security Marshal is only required if more than 20 people are training.

It's not known if the virus remnants found in waste water originated from the event and one of the 4000 daily visitors, or a member of the township's 37,000 population, but NSW Health is asking anyone who has visited the region to be on the lookout for a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, tiredness or fever.

Mr. Houston's Sydney Mega Church has a capacity of 4,000 people, but services were limited to just 100 people.

Nearly 15,000 people followed NSW Health's request to have more people tested, compared to just 7,401 in the last 24 hours.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he was sorry if some religious leaders felt they were being ignored but he only heard of their concerns through the media.

The Premier said she would not be able to increase passenger numbers on the city's transport network until compliance with current Covid guidelines had increased.

There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW.

The New South Wales Government released the following statement: "Visitors to and residents of Bathurst must be aware of any symptoms of illness, and immediately isolate and get tested should even the mildest of symptoms appear that you think might just be a cold".

Eight cases were diagnosed in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

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