Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Home Breaking News How NSW’s new Croydon COVID-19 cluster emerged

How NSW’s new Croydon COVID-19 cluster emerged


#Several indoor #Christmas gatherings across three households could be the reason why the #Croydon cluster has emerged as #Sydney’s health authorities scramble to uncover the source of the coronavirus infections.

The #Croydon cluster was identified after six members of the same family tested positive for COVID-19 on #Wednesday, with three new cases linked to it on #Thursday.

NSW chief health officer #Kerry #Chant flagged more cases would emerge that were associated with the extended family, who had also visited multiple venues across #Greater #Sydney while infectious.

#However, #Dr #Chant dismissed suggestions the cluster could have been caused as a result of the easing of restrictions over #Christmas, saying it was too premature to attribute it to that one day.

“But we are investigating a number of lines of inquiry to understand that transmission event,” she said.

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#Yet epidemiologists backed the #Christmas theory with incubation on average lasting five days before symptoms.

#Kirby #Institute infectious disease expert #Raina #MacIntyre said the fact that the #Croydon cases emerged five and six days after #Christmas was consistent with the day being a spreading event.

“We know that people gather more together at the end of the year and move around #Sydney and go to parts of #Sydney they might not normally go to spend #Christmas #Day with extended family,” she told news.com.au.

“Christmas was expected to be a day that could see more transmissions.”

RELATED: #Follow our live virus updates

#Dr #Chant warned on #Thursday that cases linked to the #Croydon cluster “have been out and about” across greater #Sydney and testing rates needed to increase in #Sydney’s inner west.

“The #Croydon cluster has raised that spectrum, but if we start seeing cases where we don’t know the source of them, and particularly in the presence of low rates of community testing, that really elevates our risk threshold and it means that we will be having to take even more precautionary action,” she said.

“The sooner we can find any missed cases in the community, the quicker we can close down those chains of transmission.”

There were concerns that the #Croydon cluster had no link to the northern beaches, although genomic sequencing results are expected on #Thursday afternoon, #Dr #Chant said.

#Contract tracers have identified more than 30 close contacts of the family.

RELATED: #Staggering reality of COVID-19 vaccine rollout

#Hot spots linked to the #Croydon cluster where people are considered close contacts, include #Monkey #Mania and #La #Piazza in #Bankstown, along with ##Hair #Management and #Venus #Nail #Salon in #Bass #Hill.

#Other venues include #Priceline in #Bankstown and #Liverpool where people are deemed as casual contacts, while anyone who visited #Bankstown #Sports #Club and #Bass #Hill #Plaza at the times listed on the NSW #Health website are advised to monitor for symptoms.

#But while identification of hotspot venues was good, #Prof #MacIntyre questioned how many people were actually checking the website.

“The type of people out partying and in indoor settings may not be the people who are looking to see where they have been,” she said.

#Professor #MacIntyre added that while the approach taken by the government had been reasonable so far – with a drop in case numbers prior to #Christmas #Day indicating the northern beaches lockdown was working – there were still more cases to come.

#She said #New #Year’s #Eve celebrations were a worry, with potential for greater spread.

“I predict that numbers will start to come up in the new year,” she said. “Watch carefully towards the middle and end of next week for another surge of cases.”



[ source link ]
https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/australia/nsw-health-worried-about-covid19-testing-rates-as-croydon-cluster-visited-multiple-sydney-venues/news-story/2e7f202f6c936cb7ef9399ec8b92739a

#NSWs ##Croydon #COVID19 #cluster #emerged

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