One mystery among ten new cases for NSW as Sydney Bondi COVID-19 cluster grows

Borders have started shutting on New South Wales, including a pause in the travel bubble with New Zealand, after the state’s coronavirus cluster grew by 10 cases, one of which crossed the Tasman.
Victoria on Tuesday night declared a large chunk of Sydney a red zone, meaning non-Victorian residents are banned from entering the state and returning residents will need to apply for a permit quarantine at home for two weeks.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant. (Kate Geraghty)

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 and must get tested and immediately isolate for two weeks, NSW Health said.

Among the 10 new cases revealed on Tuesday, only one is considered a mystery as authorities try to link it to the cluster.

Though primary school student from a school in Sydney’s east has not been linked, it’s in the the same geographical area as Bondi Junction.

The new cases take the Bondi cluster to 21 and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian expects the number to continue to swell as more household contacts of cases test positive in coming days.

“Unfortunately, a number of people who contracted the virus have done so in a very fleeting way, literally being within less than a metre of somebody but sharing the same airspace without any physical contact has still meant the virus has transferred,” Ms Berejiklian said. 

“A very fleeting exchange or a very fleeting coexistence has actually allowed the virus to transfer and highlights how contagious it is.” 

Ten new cases, some to be counted in tomorrow’s figures

Of the 10 new cases revealed on Tuesday, seven will be part of Wednesday’s official figures.

Six of the new cases were household members of previously recorded cases and were already in isolation when they tested positive.

Ms Berejiklian said the mystery student attended St Charles in Waverley, and the school was notifying parents.

People wearing masks shopping in Pitt St, Sydney. (Edwina Pickles)

“I urge parents to wait for instructions from the school because we are keen to make sure that students and parents have access to testing, and we want to make sure there isn’t a rush with all parents descending on the school at the same time,” she said. 

Almost 29,000 tests were carried out.

Among the other new cases were a woman in her 20s and a man in his 30s, both from the eastern suburbs, a woman in her 40s from Sydney’s north who was already isolating, and a woman in her 60s from Illawarra who was also isolating.

NSW Health said there were 46 people with the virus in the state, with one person in intensive care but most others not in hospital.

The state is nearing two million vaccine doses injected.

Sydney mask mandate extended

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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