Vic-Linked NSW Pub Virus Cluster Hits 34

July 15, 2020 Updated: July 15, 2020

A COVID-19 cluster from a southwest Sydney pub continues to grow, with its “patient zero” identified as a Melbourne man who attended a party at the venue.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on July 15 said there are now 34 cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, at least 20 of them patrons.

The state reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, with only three of them unconnected to the hotel.

Two of the 10 hotel-connected cases attended the Planet Fitness gym nearby, meaning three gym-goers since July 4 have come down with the virus.

Two of the 34 cases to date are “tertiary” cases, or contacts of contacts.

“This highlights the rapidity with which COVID can spread and the importance of us identifying these cases very quickly,” Chant told reporters.

“It’s very important we don’t lose sight that COVID could’ve been introduced in any other part of Sydney … this is a stealthy virus.”

NSW Health also confirmed the “patient zero” of the outbreak was a Melbourne freight company employee who attended the Crossroads Hotel on July 3 for a work party. Six of his colleagues have since caught COVID-19.

The man entered NSW on June 30, before its border with Victoria closed.

Victoria recorded 238 new cases on Wednesday.

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

Angelo Risso in Sydney