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Warning to limit movements on New Years Eve as new COVID case found in Wollongong

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has warned residents ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations after Covid case found in Wollongong overnight

A NEW case of COVID-19 has been found in Wollongong overnight.

The Wollongong case, one from Sydney’s Inner West and one in the northern area of Sydney, came in late overnight and may be eventually linked to Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Wollongong case had not yet been linked to the Sydney Northern Beaches cluster. However, the Premier said the case had visited Sydney.

Ms Berejiklian said there was growing concern about the threat to Greater Sydney and regional areas.

In the official daily numbers to 8pm Monday, there were three new cases linked to the Avalon cluster, found amid just over 16,000 tests.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said it was believed the Wollongong case “had spent some time in central business district, but … it’s premature.”

Dr Chant also issued a warning to residents ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“Limit your movements, limit your gatherings, only meet with those people that are essential to meet with,” she said.

“This will assist us if there are any undetected chains of transmission, ensure that we do not have a super-spreading event.

“Please do not go out and about if you have the mildest of symptoms, stay home.”

NSW Health’s list of venues potentially exposed to COVID-19 was updated to include several locations in Wollongong and Figtree.

Anyone who has been to the following venues between the following times should seek testing and self-isolate immediately.

St Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church on Atchison Street, between 9am and 10.15am on December 27, and The Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Stewart Street between 10.30am and 11am.

Anyone who visited the following venues at these times is a casual contact and should test immediately. They should isolate until a negative result is returned.

  • Figtree Grove Shopping Centre on December 21 between 12.30pm and 1.30pm, on December 23 between 8.45am and 9am and on December 24 between 6.45am and 9.30am.
  • Proust Optical in Figtree on December 21 between 9.30am and 5pm and on December 23 between 9.30am and 2pm.
  • Wollongong Central 200 Crown Street on December 23 between 3.30pm and 4pm.

For the full list of venues on alert, click here.

Meanwhile the NSW Police Force is encouraging the community to enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations from home this year, as a high-visibility and mobile police operation is outlined today.

Operation New Year’s Eve 2020 will be in place on Thursday December 31 to ensure the safety of revellers at events or gatherings across NSW.

Operation New Year’s Eve 2020 Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing, said police will be focused on public safety, which includes enforcing Public Health Orders, as well as alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“New Year’s Eve celebrations will look very different this year, so too will the police response; and we are urging the community to heed the advice and celebrate locally,” Assistant Commissioner Willing said.

“There will still be significant numbers of officers deployed for Operation New Year’s Eve, who will be focused on keeping everyone safe, whether celebrating at an event in the CBD, suburban Sydney or Regional NSW.

Detailed information about Sydney New Year’s Eve, including the designated zones and the New Year’s Eve pass, is available online: www.nsw.gov.au/NYE.


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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney 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 pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently 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 has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time 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), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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