A COVID-19 cluster has emerged at 254 Crown Street in Darlinghurst, with at least five people in the apartment block returning positive tests in the past week.
The cluster comes after similar COVID-19 surges have been recorded in high-density inner-city housing, including social and Aboriginal housing estates in Redfern and Waterloo.
News.com.au reported that residents have been told that “there’s nothing to worry about” from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) – Housing and NSW Health, despite growing cases in their building. It was also reported that an infected resident was told to “keep your mouth shut” in regards to the cluster.
Crown Street residents remain concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases, with one resident taking it upon himself to place signs across the shared facilities of the building, pleading with residents to get tested and otherwise stay inside their units.
“We know people in our communities have unique health issues and it’s important that mainstream service responses are attuned to these needs and provide care that is appropriate and dignified,” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said.
“We are available for assistance to people living with HIV and LGBTQ people impacted by COVID-19, including providing counselling and other psychosocial support, as well as referral support to other health and community services.”
Parkhill urged the importance of complying with the COVID-19 guidelines.
“It is vital that people comply with public health orders and continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as they can. This is particularly important for people who are vulnerable or have underlying health conditions.”
Member for Newtown Jenny Leong echoed Parkhill’s sentiment.
“The current outbreak is very concerning, and the Premier and responsible Ministers should leave no stone unturned in ensuring that people have access to information, testing, vaccine and practical support,” Ms Leong said.
“We urge everyone who can to turn up today and get vaccinated – you don’t even need to make an appointment if you live nearby.”
Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich was equally concerned for residents in the building.
“Tenants contacted me about several tenants in this building testing positive and I asked for deep cleaning and information to tenants about testing and isolation as soon as possible,” Greenwich said.
254 Crown Street is a five-storey block in close proximity to Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. The cluster is alleged to have begun last week, with cases mounting throughout the last seven days. Residents of 254 Crown Street are reported as often leaving their units to travel to other areas of the inner-city, usually taking public transport to do so.
The DCJ is also alleged to have not told any residents “to be quiet and not to worry”, rather encouraging tenants to be proactive about getting tested and vaccinated.