Inner West Independent

New COVID-19 alerts for Sydney’s East and Inner West

A pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Rushcutters Bay in Sydney's East. Photo: St Vincent's Hospital

By ALLISON HORE

Residents in the Inner West are being asked to stay alert after a positive COVID-19 test was returned for a woman in her 70s who resides in the area. 

The woman had visited the Belle cafe in Vaucluse at the same time as a limousine driver who transported international aircrew. He tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. The driver’s wife has also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of active cases in Sydney to three. 

NSW chief medical officer Dr. Kerry Chant said the virus being transmitted in a cafe setting was “concerning” but no further restrictions have been announced. 

“It is concerning he has transmitted in a cafe and we will look at any information about the proximity they may have had but clearly that gives us a raised level of concern,” she said.

Dr. Chant said the virus detected in the man was found to be of the Delta strain and matched “perfectly” with a sequence from the US. 

More than 700 people have been tested and are in self-isolation after visiting a number of venues which were identified as possible COVID-19 exposure sites on Wednesday. Venues of concern include a number of shops in the Bondi Junction shopping centre as well as the cinema, four cafes in Vaucluse, a supermarket in Leichhardt and three locations in Zetland and Redfern. 

Aircrew who arrive at Sydney Airport quarantine in nearby hotels with police security. They are transported to these hotels by private transport companies. When asked how a driver had contracted the virus and passed it on, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said “no system is perfect.”

“All workers and drivers within the quarantine system have strict obligations which are covered in our health orders,” she said.

Police are currently investigating whether the driver at the centre of the new local transmissions adhered to the conditions of his employment including daily testing and being vaccinated. 

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