NSW Pub Virus Cluster’s Vic Link Confirmed

July 14, 2020 Updated: July 15, 2020

A COVID-19 cluster from a pub in Sydney’s southwest continues to grow, with genomic testing indicating the virus strain emanated from Victoria.

Of the 30 cases linked so far to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, 14 are people who attended the pub.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro on July 15 confirmed genomic testing of the virus circulating in Casula found links to a strain from Victoria, where hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are being reported each day.

“It’s not a virus which has been transmitted through the community because something has occurred here,” Barilaro told the Seven Network.

“There is no question the virus has come from Victoria. We don’t know where that’s seeded, we have been doing the contact tracing.”

Both Barilaro and Premier Gladys Berejiklian have this week said localised or statewide lockdowns were undesirable and options of last resort.

The intensive care capacity in NSW hospitals had almost quadrupled since the early stages of the pandemic, which has killed 51 people in the state.

“What we need to do is find a way in which we can coexist with the virus,” Berejiklian told ABC TV on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile a southwest Sydney pizza restaurant is closing for three days for deep cleaning after a customer tested positive for COVID-19.

NSW Health reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with 10 linked to the Crossroads Hotel.

One of the cases linked to the hotel is a person who visited the Prestons Lodge Advantaged Care nursing home which has been placed into lockdown.

Another case worked at the Kmart store in Casula Mall on July 10.

Chant said other venues across Sydney may have been exposed to the virus between June 27 and July 10 after visits from people linked to the outbreak.

Berejiklian also on Tuesday announced a tightening of restrictions for pubs and hotels, including a cap of 300 patrons and mandatory sign-ins. Those restrictions will come into effect from Friday.