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Fears horror COVID-19 second wave has spread to Sydney as gym is forced to shut

Health authorities fear a second wave of COVID-19 plaguing Victoria has hit Sydney after a gym was forced to close following a positive case and a cluster at a nearby pub continues to grow.

Nine cases have now been linked to The Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south-west – five patrons who attended the venue in Casula on July 3, and four of their close contacts. 

Sunday’s four new cases include an 18-year-old pub employee who had worked on July 3.

He continued to work for ‘several days’ after he was exposed to the virus. 

A close contact in her 50s, plus a woman in her 40s and a Victorian man in his 20s, who both dined at the venue, were on Sunday confirmed as new cases.

Nine cases have now been linked to The Crossroads Hotel in Sydney's south west - five patrons who attended the venue in Casula on July 3, and four of their close contacts

Nine cases have now been linked to The Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south west – five patrons who attended the venue in Casula on July 3, and four of their close contacts

Just a kilometre away from the pub, Planet Fitness Casula was forced to close on Sunday for a deep clean after a member tested positive for COVID-19

Just a kilometre away from the pub, Planet Fitness Casula was forced to close on Sunday for a deep clean after a member tested positive for COVID-19

Just a kilometre away from the pub, Planet Fitness Casula was forced to close on Sunday for a deep clean after a member tested positive for COVID-19

Just a kilometre away from the pub, Planet Fitness Casula was forced to close on Sunday for a deep clean after a member tested positive for COVID-19. 

It is unclear at this stage whether the case is related to the pub outbreak.

‘The member has not been at the club since Friday, 10 July and is in quarantine,’ Planet Fitness said in a statement on Sunday. 

‘Additionally, our team members are in self-quarantine as instructed by their doctor, as a precaution because of contact with the patient. Currently, the team members are reporting no symptoms.’

A cleaner dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) leaves the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney's south west

A cleaner dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) leaves the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney's south west

A cleaner dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) leaves the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south west 

It is unclear at this stage whether the case is related to the pub outbreak. Pictured: a sign on the door of Planet Fitness Casula

It is unclear at this stage whether the case is related to the pub outbreak. Pictured: a sign on the door of Planet Fitness Casula

It is unclear at this stage whether the case is related to the pub outbreak. Pictured: a sign on the door of Planet Fitness Casula 

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday night NSW Health was ‘getting very close’ to identifying the source of the Crossroads Hotel pub cluster. 

‘There is an extraordinary job of tracing going on,’ Mr Hunt told Sky News.

‘My understanding is that NSW Health is getting very close to identifying the original source. I am hopeful and confident that within 24 hours they will be in a position to identify that source.’ 

Mr Hunt revealed Prime Minister Scott Morrison had spent the weekend drafting a plan to support Victoria and stop the state’s outbreak spiralling out of control. 

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt defended the prime minister after he attended an NRL game on Saturday

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt defended the prime minister after he attended an NRL game on Saturday

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt defended the prime minister after he attended an NRL game on Saturday

Some 1200 people have been tested at the pop-up clinic in the pub car park since Friday

Some 1200 people have been tested at the pop-up clinic in the pub car park since Friday

Some 1200 people have been tested at the pop-up clinic in the pub car park since Friday

Mr Morrison ‘worked right through [Saturday] on a new level of support for Victoria, over and above every thing that we’ve done’, Mr Hunt said, defending the prime minister after he attended an NRL game on Saturday. 

‘I know because I was working with him. I’ve been working with him throughout today, so this fellow never stops.

‘He is one of the reasons, perhaps the fundamental reasons, that we are where we are. I have never seen any body work harder in my life and more effectively in protecting a country.’

Mr Hunt did not provide any details on the prime minister’s plan.   

Australian National University Associate Professor of Medicine Sanjaya Senanayake said Sydney residents should start wearing masks in public regardless of if they're sick

Australian National University Associate Professor of Medicine Sanjaya Senanayake said Sydney residents should start wearing masks in public regardless of if they're sick

 Australian National University Associate Professor of Medicine Sanjaya Senanayake said Sydney residents should start wearing masks in public regardless of if they’re sick 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was on high alert for community transmission

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was on high alert for community transmission

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was on high alert for community transmission

Meanwhile, Mr Hunt refused to speculate on whether Sydney’s pub cluster is linked to Victoria’s worsening coronavirus crisus, where another 273 cases were recorded and a man in his 70s died on Sunday. 

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said health authorities do not believe the staff member was the source. 

Five cases have been previously linked to the pub – two patrons who visited on July 3 and three close contacts of one of those patrons.

None of those cases is linked to Victoria’s outbreak.

Some 1,200 people have been tested at the pop-up clinic in the pub car park since Friday.

Dr Chant said all Crossroads patrons and staff should get tested as a precaution and self-isolate for 14 days since their last visit.

‘Even if you get a negative test, that does not mean you are out of the woods. A negative result does not mean you can breach self-isolation,’ she said. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was on high alert for community transmission.

‘I get extremely concerned and upset when we see people flouting the rules that are in place because that will take us down the path of Victoria,’ she said.

‘If you wake up with a scratchy throat, don’t go to work. Get tested and stay home.’

Ms Berejiklian also said the virus could be ‘bubbling under the surface’ in Sydney’s south west following the Crossroads Hotel cluster. 

‘We are just hanging on. If you’ve been at the Crossroads hotel from July 3 to July 10, stay home for 14 days and self-isolate otherwise we will go down the path of Victoria.’  

Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a plea to all Victorians to follow the latest lockdown rules, as the state recorded 273 new cases and another death

Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a plea to all Victorians to follow the latest lockdown rules, as the state recorded 273 new cases and another death

Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a plea to all Victorians to follow the latest lockdown rules, as the state recorded 273 new cases and another death

Experts told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday that it's definitely possible NSW will suffer a coronavirus outbreak like Victoria's

Experts told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday that it's definitely possible NSW will suffer a coronavirus outbreak like Victoria's

Experts told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday that it’s definitely possible NSW will suffer a coronavirus outbreak like Victoria’s

Dr Chant said the pub outbreak highlighted the importance of businesses recording contact details for every sit-down customer and the public taking the measures seriously. 

‘When you do go into cafes, restaurants and other facilities, there is a reason we ask you for those details,’ she said.

‘Please use correct numbers (and) write legibly because this will be in your best interest.’

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 9,797

Victoria: 3,799

New South Wales: 3,479 

Queensland: 1,070

Western Australia: 635

South Australia: 443

Tasmania: 228

Australian Capital Territory: 113

Northern Territory: 30

TOTAL CASES: 9,797

CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 1,526

DEATHS: 108

Australian National University Associate Professor of Medicine Sanjaya Senanayake told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday it is ‘definitely’ possible NSW will suffer a coronavirus outbreak like Victoria’s.

‘But it’s not a certainty,’ he said. 

‘The public health authorities will rely on people at the pub to get tested and then find the other people they were in contact with.

‘The next generation of cases is going to be difficult.’ 

Professor Senanayake said those people would likely only be found if they developed symptoms and got tested.

‘The only way to know is if they themselves become sick,’ he said. 

Professor Senanayake said people in south-west Sydney should now start wearing face masks in public places whether or not they are sick.

‘It may not be unreasonable in that part of Sydney to wear masks,’ he said.

‘The data does support having a mask on even if you’re not sick.’

He also stressed people should download the Federal Government’s COVID-19 tracing app, as this would cut down the time it takes to trace contacts.

‘There’s not a widely available drug to treat and we don’t have a vaccine so we rely on detecting cases and quarantining them,’ he said.

Meanwhile in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a plea to all Victorians to follow the latest lockdown rules, as the state recorded 273 new cases and another death.

He said health authorities could not contain the virus on their own, with those in locked-down metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire urged to limit their movement.

‘We need every Victorian to acknowledge that you are on the frontline. Don’t leave it to nurses and doctors to be the last line of defence,’ Mr Andrews told reporters on Sunday.

‘We all need to make smart choices for ourselves and each other. That is the only way we will stabilise these numbers and drive them down.’

The premier also warned police were not mucking about, as ‘no-one has the luxury of being able to do the wrong thing’ thinking that it will only affect them.

Just in the last 24 hours, police have issued 119 fines to people breaking lockdown rules.

Mr Andrews confirmed a man in his 70s died from the virus overnight on Saturday, taking the national toll to 108.

It comes after great-grandfather Alf Jordan, 90, died in hospital on Friday night after falling ill at a Werribee aged care facility just three days earlier.

There are now 1484 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, with 57 people currently in hospital with the virus and 16 of those in intensive care.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the pandemic had not yet reached its peak and authorities were throwing ‘absolutely everything at it’.

Alf Jordan, 90, died in hospital on Friday night after falling ill at a Werribee aged care facility just three days earlier

Alf Jordan, 90, died in hospital on Friday night after falling ill at a Werribee aged care facility just three days earlier

Alf Jordan, 90, died in hospital on Friday night after falling ill at a Werribee aged care facility just three days earlier

‘It is the public health challenge of our lifetime. The biggest for 100 years since the Spanish flu,’ he said.

Professor Sutton said he was particularly concerned about outbreaks in hospitals and aged care facilities in recent days, which have forced hundreds of workers deemed close contacts into quarantine.

There are 11 coronavirus cases linked to Brunswick Private Hospital, eight to the Alfred Hospital and two to Box Hill Hospital.

Eleven people have also tested positive at Menarock Life Aged Care Facility in Essendon, while 12 cases were recorded at Glendale Aged Care Facility in Werribee.

‘The workforces know what to do but it is a risk that can’t be mitigated down to zero,’ Professor Sutton said.

New cases extend Victoria public housing tower lockdown 

Residents of one of Melbourne’s public housing towers recently released from ‘hard’ lockdown have been forced back into their apartments after a spate of new coronavirus infections.

There are 237 COVID-19 cases linked to the Flemington and North Melbourne estates.

A woman living at 120 Racecourse Road, Flemington told AAP a family who tested positive for the virus prior to the five-day lockdown have since been seen outside their flat, mixing with others, going to McDonald’s and travelling to neighbouring Footscray.

She said a teenager in the family attends Al-Taqwa College, a large school in Truganina linked to a huge outbreak.

The woman says she saw health authorities speaking with the family on Friday night, reminding them to isolate at home.

The Department of Health and Human Services also called her on Friday to let her know she had been in close contact with a different resident who tested positive to the virus. She was told to quarantine for two weeks.

The woman shares a small flat with her family and cannot isolate in her room, so she was told to wear a mask at all times, including when sleeping.

‘Just thinking about it, I’m about to go crazy,’ she said.

A young father in the same building received a positive test result on Friday, having waited to find out since his test on Monday.

By the time he received the result at midday, he had already left his apartment, spoke to police and fellow residents and bought a coffee.

He has shut himself in a bedroom, interacting with his wife and children via Facetime.

The DDHS asked him to isolate in a hotel but he preferred to be at home.

The department declined to comment on specific cases for privacy reasons but said there were strict procedures in place to protect the public when a person tests positive.

‘All close contacts are identified and notified that they need to self-isolate and seek testing,’ a spokesman said.

The Flemington building was one of nine public housing towers to be put into a strict lockdown from July 4 to 9.

Eight of the towers reverted to stage three restrictions on Thursday, while residents of Alfred Street North Melbourne remain in self-quarantine.

Meanwhile, another 28 cases were recorded at a public housing tower in Carlton.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the pandemic had not yet reached its peak and authorities were throwing ‘absolutely everything at it’.

The state recorded 273 new cases on Sunday and another death.

There are now 1484 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, with 57 people currently in hospital with the virus and 16 of those in intensive care.

*The two residents who spoke to AAP did not wish to be named.

 

Just in the last 24 hours, police have issued 119 fines to people breaking lockdown rules in Melbourne. Pictured: People get in their government-mandated exercise at the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on Sunday

Just in the last 24 hours, police have issued 119 fines to people breaking lockdown rules in Melbourne. Pictured: People get in their government-mandated exercise at the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on Sunday

Just in the last 24 hours, police have issued 119 fines to people breaking lockdown rules in Melbourne. Pictured: People get in their government-mandated exercise at the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on Sunday 

There are 237 cases linked to public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne

There are 237 cases linked to public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne

There are 237 cases linked to public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne

‘I have been an emergency department doctor for years and they are brave and they are brilliant in responding to the challenges of positive cases that need to be managed there.’

There are 237 cases linked to public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne, but Professor Sutton warned the number could be much greater.

Twenty-eight people at a public housing tower in Carlton have also tested positive to the virus.

The state has recorded a week of triple-digit increases in new cases, including a record 288 infections on Friday.

Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are again under stage three restriction until at least August 19 because of the spike in new cases.

People in those areas are only allowed to leave home for food and supplies, receive or provide care, exercise, and study or work if they can’t do so from home.

Students in prep to year 10 in the locked-down areas will return to online learning from July 20 as part of efforts to minimise the movement of people.

‘These next six weeks are not an ordinary winter. We all have to play our part, we cannot ignore the circumstances we face,’ Mr Andrews said.

‘Nobody wanted to be in this position, but this is where we find ourselves.’ 

Online learning back for most Victoria students 

Most Victorian students are set to return to online learning as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed prep to year 10 students in locked-down metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will learn from home from July 20 until at least August 19.

He said reducing the movement of students and their parents will help drive community transmission of the virus down.

‘We can’t have the best part of 700,000 students as well as parents moving to and from school, moving around the community, as if there wasn’t a lockdown,’ Mr Andrews told reporters on Sunday.

‘That will put at direct risk us achieving our aim and that, of course, is to drive the numbers down at the end of the six-week period and get to a position where we will have control and where we can begin a very cautious program of easing.’

Mr Andrews said he expected Catholic and independent schools to also return to online learning.

On-site learning will be available for students whose parents cannot work from home and for students with special needs who attend mainstream schools.

Senior secondary students, year 10 students who study VCE subjects and those who attend specialist schools, meanwhile, will head back to the classroom for face-to-face learning from Monday.

As previously announced by the state government, they will be subject to temperature checks on their arrival.

If a student has a temperature of 37.5C or above, schools will be required to contact parents or carers to arrange for students to return home.

Students in regional and rural parts of Victoria, except for the Mitchell Shire, will also return to on-site learning for term three as planned.

School holidays have been extended for a week for other year levels while teachers prepare.

Unlike the last term when most teachers worked remotely, staff will be based at school.

The premier said he recognised the return to home learning would be challenging, particularly for parents of young children.

‘It is not a decision that we take easily. It is going to be very challenging, but it is what must be done, given the circumstances that we face,’ Mr Andrews said.

The state has recorded a week of triple-digit daily increases in new coronavirus cases, including 273 on Sunday. Almost 1500 cases remain active.

Education Minister James Merlino said almost 50,000 laptops and devices have already been distributed, as well as 26,000 WiFi dongles.

More support and resources will also be made available.

‘We know that this is going to be a really challenging time for everyone,’ Mr Merlino said.

‘You did a brilliant job last time, and you will do it again.’

He said free sessional kinder for eligible children living in locked-down areas will also be offered for term three.

The funding guarantees $460 for each eligible child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program.

Eligible kindergarten services outside of these areas will get half that subsidy.

Victorians locked down in self-quarantine are accidentally sent text messages telling them they can LEAVE isolation in yet another potentially disastrous blunder

Victorians forced to self-isolate after close contact with a coronavirus case have mistakenly received text messages saying they free to leave quarantine.

The Department of Health and Human Services has blamed the blunder on an data entry error, but was unable to reveal how many of those holed up in quarantine received the misfired messages on Sunday morning.  

Victorians ordered to self-isolate were shocked to receive texts advising they were ‘no longer in quarantine’ before the 14-day period ended.

Melbourne woman whose partner tested positive on Wednesday was among those to receive the wrong advice from authorities.

Health authorities accidentally sent the wrong advice to Victorians holed up in quarantine on Sunday. Pictured is a couple wearing face masks while shopping in Melbourne on Sunday

Health authorities accidentally sent the wrong advice to Victorians holed up in quarantine on Sunday. Pictured is a couple wearing face masks while shopping in Melbourne on Sunday

Health authorities accidentally sent the wrong advice to Victorians holed up in quarantine on Sunday. Pictured is a couple wearing face masks while shopping in Melbourne on Sunday

She received the text just 20 minutes after she was sent an email reminding her of the strict orders to remain in quarantine.

‘Straight away I thought, this is a mistake, something has gone wrong here,’ the unnamed woman told the Herald Sun.

She called the DHHS hotline for further clarification and was told to ignore the latest advice sent out by mistake.

The DHHS has since apologised for the ‘totally ­inadvertent’ data entry error.

The department is yet to identify the affected group, which it says will be a massive task.

‘We’re sending out multiple messages every day to ­different groups who are in different stages of quarantine,’ a spokesperson said.

‘We’re talking about thousands of messages a day.’ 

Police patrolled St Kilda foreshore on Sunday for anyone breaching lockdown rules as Melbourne entered its fourth day of stage three restrictions

Police patrolled St Kilda foreshore on Sunday for anyone breaching lockdown rules as Melbourne entered its fourth day of stage three restrictions

Police patrolled St Kilda foreshore on Sunday for anyone breaching lockdown rules as Melbourne entered its fourth day of stage three restrictions

Public housing tenants at 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne remained in strict lockdown on Sunday. They've been unable to leave their home for any reason for the last eight days

Public housing tenants at 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne remained in strict lockdown on Sunday. They've been unable to leave their home for any reason for the last eight days

Public housing tenants at 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne remained in strict lockdown on Sunday. They’ve been unable to leave their home for any reason for the last eight days

It comes after another horror day for Victoria with another 273 new cases on Sunday as the state struggles to control a second wave of new infections. 

A man in his 70s died from the virus overnight on Saturday to take the nation’s death  toll to 108.

It was the second Victorian death within 24 hours after great-grandfather Alf Jordan, 90, died in hospital on Friday night. 

Victoria has 1484 active cases, including 57 patients currently in hospital and 16 in intensive care.

Sunday was a horror day for Victoria as it struggles to control a second outbreak of new coronavirus infections Pictured is a deserted Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD on Sunday

Sunday was a horror day for Victoria as it struggles to control a second outbreak of new coronavirus infections Pictured is a deserted Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD on Sunday

Sunday was a horror day for Victoria as it struggles to control a second outbreak of new coronavirus infections Pictured is a deserted Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD on Sunday

Premier Daniel Andrews pleaded with Victorians to leave home unless they need to. 

Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will remain under stage three lockdown restrictions for at least six weeks.

‘We need every Victorian to acknowledge that you are on the frontline,’ Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

‘We all need to make smart choices for ourselves and each other. That is the only way we will stabilise these numbers and drive them down.’

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