NSW Health launches urgent probe after quarantine hotel worker tests positive for COVID-19

Health alert: A worker at the Ibis Hotel Darling Harbour has tested positive for coronavirus. PIcture: Facebook
Health alert: A worker at the Ibis Hotel Darling Harbour has tested positive for coronavirus. PIcture: Facebook

The state's streak of no community cases of COVID-19 has come to an end after a worker at two Sydney hotels, including one that hosts returned travellers, tested positive for coronavirus.

NSW Health said in a statement this morning that it was notifed late last night that a new case of COVID-19 had been detected in a person who works at a Sydney hotel that provides hotel quarantine for returned travellers.

The source of the infection is under investigation.

It is understood the infected person worked at both the Ibis Hotel Darling Harbour and Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour while possibly infectious.

A NSW Health spokesperson said urgent genome sequencing was under way to determine whether the infection had been acquired in the community or through work at the hotel quarantine facility.

The results are expected in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Five household contacts of the case have been identified. All were tested for COVID-19 but were negative. They will self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution.

Staff who worked at the hotel whilst the case was potentially infectious have been asked to come forward for testing and self-isolate until updated advice is received from NSW Health.

The relevant dates are:

  • Ibis Hotel Darling Harbour, Friday November 27.
  • Novotel Sydney, Darling Harbour, Saturday, November 28, Sunday November 29 and Monday November 30.

As a precaution, NSW Health is also conducting wider testing of staff at the hotel complex.

The person who tested positive lives in south-western Sydney, and travelled by train from Minto to Central, then on the light rail from Central to Darling Harbour on a number of occasions while potentially infectious.

NSW Health is asking people who travelled on the same services to get tested immediately and self-isolate, until further advised by NSW Health.

The route and line details will be provided later today.

NSW Health issued an alert last night regarding a sewage detection in the Riverstone catchment but the spokesperson said the case was not related.