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Lines grow at Bondi testing clinic as authorities race to identify source of mystery case

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Residents are facing hours-long wait times for coronavirus tests as queues at Bondi clinics grow.

Residents are heeding the call to get tested as authorities work to identify the source of a mystery COVID-19 case in a Year 3 student at Charles Waverley Catholic School.

The Bondi cluster grew to 21 cases yesterday, with health authorities on edge as they try to work out how the primary school student contracted the virus.

Bondi COVID-19 testing clinic June 23
Lines are growing at a Bondi testing clinic, as authorities work to identify the source of a mystery COVID-19 case. (9News)

Students, staff and parents at the school are awaiting tests results as health authorities try to contain the spread after a year three student tested positive yesterday.

The school is only a kilometre away from Westfield Bondi Junction – the epicentre of the latest Sydney outbreak – but there is no clear link as to how the student was infected.

Dr Jeremey McNaulty spoke to Today said authorities would continue to “keep digging and digging to put the pieces together”.

“Certainly this case was within the vicinity of Bondi Junction but the important thing is getting the people around each case tested,” he said.

Dr Rob Grenfell, from the CSIRO, told Today the coming days would be critical in determining how the state moves forward.

“When it appears in a school, you wonder how many other children have got it or taken it home to their parents,” Dr Grenfell said.

Lines are growing at a Bondi testing clinic, as authorities work to identify the source of a mystery COVID-19 case.
Lines are growing at a Bondi testing clinic, as authorities work to identify the source of a mystery COVID-19 case. (9News)

“Only the testing over the next few days will tell us how far this virus has spread across Sydney.”

Dr Grenfell said the latest outbreak highlighted the importance of vaccination, with even one dose making you “65 per cent less likely to spread the virus”.

This comes borders have started shutting on NSW, including a pause in the travel bubble with New Zealand.

Flights from Sydney to Queensland have been cancelled, with the state’s premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warning residents from travelling to the NSW capital.

A list of exposure sites continues to grow, with a supermarket, a restaurant and a Trans-Tasman flight among the latest in Sydney.

Passengers from two flights between Sydney and Wellington, New Zealand, have been asked to get tested immediately and isolate for two weeks.

The flights are part of NSW Health’s latest alert linked to the state’s current COVID-19 outbreak, which grew by 10 cases on Tuesday. This takes the Bondi cluster to 21 cases.

Anyone who was on board Qantas flight QF163 leaving Sydney at 7.05pm on June 18 or Air New Zealand flight NZ247 leaving Wellington at 10.13am on Monday was considered a close contact, NSW Health said on Tuesday night.

The alert came less than an hour before a minimum-three-day pause of the travel bubble between New Zealand and NSW was due to come into effect and included several other locations within NSW linked to known COVID-19 cases.

Anyone who attended the following venue at the time listed is a close contact and must immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested, and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result:

– June 19: Totti’s Bondi (within the Royal Bondi), from 5pm – 6:30pm

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact and must immediately get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received:

– June 19: The Royal Bondi (other than Totti’s), from 5pm – 6.30pm

– June 20: Woolworths Spring Farm, 254 Richardson Road, from 9.30am – 10am

Sydney mask mandate extended

Sydney’s mask-wearing restrictions will remain in force for an additional week and have been extended to Greater Sydney.

The restrictions were initially set to lift at 12.01am on Thursday.

The requirement means everybody in the metropolitan area will have to wear masks while at an indoor venue, including hospitality venues, grocery stores, or any indoor events.

A person can only take their mask off at an indoor venue if they are eating or drinking.

Masks are already compulsory on public transport.

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