NSW Health says six coronavirus cases after Stanwell Tops wedding; Thirroul festival cancelled

Coronaviris health minister

The NSW health minister Brad Hazzard and NSW chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant speak about the coronavirus.

UPDATED 2.50pm MARCH 17 2020:

THE state has recorded 37 new positive tests for coronavirus cases in a single day.

It takes the total number of cases in NSW to 171, almost double the number on Friday, and includes six cases after a wedding reception at Stanwell Tops.

At a media conference today, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the six confirmed cases of coronavirus were among guests who attended a wedding at Tumbling Waters Retreat at Stanwell Tops on March 6.

Close contacts are being followed up for further investigation.

Meanwhile the organisers of the Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival, to be held on April 3 to 5, 2020, have announced that this year’s event has been cancelled in response to the Australian Government’s announcement banning gatherings of more than 500 people.

Also cancelled is the annual Bulli Mine Disaster service at St Augustines Anglican Church on Monday March 23, which remembers the 81 men and boys killed in the 1887 colliery explosion. The Black Diamond Heritage Centre’s museum at Bulli Railway Station will also be closed for one calendar month.

Black Diamond Heritage Centre spokesperson, Kerrie-Anne Christian said sadly the coronavirus has resulted in another cancellation.

“I have been in contact with people from the Church across this afternoon – and we were not surprised at their decision to cancel – we and the Church are very disappointed,” Ms Christian said.

“I will also be contacting relatives and descendants of the Disaster later tonight to advise them of the situation.”

Wollongong City Council is also making changes to upcoming events. As of 4pm today, Monday March 16, the following events will not be taking place on their advertised dates.

  • Nowruz in the Crown Street Mall, Thursday March 19 (cancelled)
  • Moonlight Movies and Comic Gong Launch, Saturday March 21 (cancelled)
  • Emergency Services Thank You Event, Saturday March 28
  • Community Walk and Celebration to coincide with the official dedication of the Karrara Bridge, Sunday April 5
  • Comic Gong, Saturday May 16

A spokesperson said as this is a rapidly evolving situation, Council is reviewing whether the Emergency Services Thank You Event and Community Walk and Celebration, and Comic Gong have been cancelled, or postponed. The Council will provide updates on the scheduling of these three activities at a later date.

“Today, we’ve been contacted by community members asking about our libraries, pools, and gyms,” the spokesperson said.

“At this time, these spaces remain open and available for people to visit. We ask our community follow the advice of NSW Health in relation to personal hygiene and hand washing, and if you feel unwell to stay at home.

“We continue to review the latest advice from NSW Health and the Australian Government related to all Council’s facilities and will keep people informed if anything changes.”

Council said it will post updates on the City of Wollongong Facebook page, and its website.

“We are focussed on continuing to serve our community, and have plans in place to ensure the ongoing delivery of all our services,” the spokesperson said.

“We have robust contingency plans, should they be needed, that will ensure the ongoing delivery of essential services, like waste collections.”

NSW Health have reminded people not to seek medical attention unless you are showing symptoms, to help ease the pressure on the health system, and to adhere to the 14 day self-isolation if returning from overseas.

“If we’re swamped with a lot of testing which is of low value, low yield, it actually means that there could be delays for us finding these cases, that are actually putting the community at risk,” Dr Chant said.

For further information on the coronavirus visit NSW Health’s Infectious disease alerts.





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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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