The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed the family members of a COVID positive man who visited Jervis Bay last weekend have since also tested positive for the virus.
The Premier also praised South Coast businesses for their excellent COVID-safe plans that have assisted in effective contact tracing since the case was reported last night.
The Victorian man tested positive on Tuesday, June 1, while his wife and their two children tested positive on Wednesday, June 2.
The family visited the South Coast between May 23 and 24.
They stayed at the Green Patch campground at Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay and visited locations in Jervis Bay, Vincentia and Goulburn which are now exposure sites.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said she was working with Victorian health authorities to determine whether the man was the source of the transmission to his family members, or vice versa.
"If this gentleman was the source for those individuals, they were not infectious potentially when they were in NSW," she said in the press conference earlier today.
"If the reverse is the case, that may take back the exposure period in NSW.
"We are working keenly with our colleagues in Victoria to understand the timing of the infection as that has implications for assessing whether there are any other venues."
Dr Chant said contact tracing has so far contacted 243 people who visited the potential exposure sites, including:
- 41 people from the Green Patch campground at Booderee National Park
- 11 people from Coles Vincentia
- 55 people from the Cooked Goose Hyams Beach Cafe
- 129 people form the Trappers Bakery in Goulburn, and
- 7 people from Shells Coles Express Big Merino in Goulburn.
Dr Chant said a 'stop and stay' has been placed on those contacts, meaning they are to isolate until they receive further advice.
She also said CCTV footage at the potential exposure sites will be reviewed to do a "full assessment of the risk" that casual contacts were exposed to.
Dr Chant and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian praised South Coast businesses for their COVID-safe plans and use of QR code systems.
"Can I just thank a number of those venues that assisted our contact tracers last night. All of those venues that had those QR codes people should have received a text message if they had a valid number last night and it also allowed us to commence our phone calls to all of those individuals," said Dr Chant.
"I'm exceptionally proud that all those venues the gentleman frequented had QR systems in place. I'm extremely proud we were able to get in touch with those people from those venues in a very quick amount of time," said Ms Berejiklian.
"I expect that many people on the South Coast and in Goulburn who have heard the messages from NSW Health will also come forward and get tested.
"I except to see people in those communities come forward in large numbers and in fact we've boosted our presence down there in terms of testing and I'm confident people in those communities will do so.
"I know that when there was a scare in Batemans Bay recently, that community responded very quickly and very positively, and I'm confident that residents in Goulburn and Jervis Bay and Vincentia will do that today and tomorrow."
Ms Berejiklian said there were no plans at this stage to close the Victorian to NSW border.
"We watch the Victoria situation every day. There will be no change to border policy at this stage at all," said Ms Berejiklian.
Dr Chant said NSW Health will continue to conduct routine sample collections from local sewage treatment plants, confirming that no COVID detections had been found so far.
"We do collect routine collections from the St Georges Basin Sewage treatment plant. We collected samples from them on the 18th and 25th of May, and there were no COVID detections at that time," she said.
The St Georges Basin plant receives sewage from the Sanctuary Point area from south of Jervis Bay, but authorities were arranging sampling of the treatment plant from Vincentia.
There were no detections from routine sampling at Goulburn on the 19th and 26th of May.
"And as is usual, we increase the frequency of our sewage surveillance when we have concerns that people may have been infectious in the community."
Read more: Booderee photo adventure leads to COVID test
Both Dr Chant the Premier mentioned that NSW had dealt with highly virulent strains before with success, and encouraged people to get vaccinated.
"Let me stress, these virulent chains of the virus have been around for a long time and they are going to continue to be around. We are going to see the virus change, we are going to see it increase its transmissibility," said Ms Berejiklian.
"What we need to do is make sure we vaccinate as many people as possible, as safely and as quickly as possible.
"What we know we need to do is use up all the AstraZeneca vaccine we have available to us, we know that supply chains around the world are getting disrupted and whilst we are told there will be extra doses of Pfizer at some stage available towards the end of the year, that's not assured.
"So we're saying to the community please make sure if you're able to get vaccinated that you do."
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