Coffs Harbour venue Hoey Moey shuts down; 'get tested' alert after confirmed COVID exposure

Drive-through COVID testing continues at Port Macquarie's Regional Stadium.
Drive-through COVID testing continues at Port Macquarie's Regional Stadium.

NSW Health has notified a Mid North Coast pub it is a COVID exposure site after a patron who visited last Thursday (July 15) tested positive.

Coffs Harbour's Hoey Moey has shut its doors and all patrons who visited after 3.50pm on July 15 have been advised to get tested and isolate until further advice is received from NSW Health.

Publican Harry Barry is now working with NSW Health. The venue is being deep cleaned, he said.

Mr Barry is urging anyone who was at the venue to get tested, this will include his staff, he told ABC on Monday.

There are other sites in Coffs Harbour that are being reviewed by NSW Health as possible venues of interest.

It is not confirmed where the person who has tested positive resides, or if they have travelled further afield.

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"The case was last believed to have been in the area on 15 July and may have been infectious for part of the time," Mid North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick said.

"NSW Health is undertaking urgent case investigations and further information will be provided as soon as available.

"Some venues have already been identified as potential sites of concern. People known to have been at those places have been contacted by NSW Health and are asked to follow the health advice provided and await further instructions."

Despite widespread media reports naming other exposure sites, NSW Health does not disclose details about venues unless there is a public health reason, Mr Dowrick said.

When a confirmed COVID-19 case attends a venue while possibly infectious, NSW Health carries out a risk assessment on that venue to determine whether other people may have been exposed and whether there is a public health risk.

There are currently no COVID cases on the Mid North Coast.

At NSW Health's Monday update, chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant confirmed Coffs Harbour is now a region where there is a need for increased testing.

Dr Chant urged everyone who was eligible, to register for vaccination.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 76,000 people came forward for testing to 8pm Sunday across the state.

There were a further 98 cases of community transmission to 8pm Sunday, July 18, with 20 of those cases infectious while in the community.

There are currently 82 people in hospital with the virus, with 24 of those in intensive care.

More than 121 infringement notices for Public Health Order breaches were issued in regional NSW.

"We need to get ahead of that number. It's really important for people to get tested when you have the mildest of symptoms," the Premier said.

"Unfortunately, more than two thirds of those cases were in south-western Sydney. Sometimes you don't even need to have symptoms to give the virus to loved ones. You might think you are doing the right thing visiting a relative in a different household - please don't. Keep those you love the most safest."

The Premier said workplaces are now the second highest place of transmission of the virus.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and Mid Coast Council are among larger organisations that have now directed all staff to work from home.

In the last four weeks, more than 14,802 tests have been conducted across the Mid North Coast. Of those, there have been 1,861 in Kempsey; 6,520 in Port Macquarie; 4,552 in Coffs Harbour; 1,018 in Nambucca and 5,110 in the Mid Coast (Taree, Forster, Gloucester) local government areas.

Testing numbers remain high at Port Macquarie, Kempsey, South West Rocks, Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour, Mid North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick said.

The Port Macquarie COVID-19 testing clinic moved from Lake Road to a drive-through clinic at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium on June 28 as testing numbers increased due to the Sydney outbreak.

Mr Dowrick thanked everyone who has been tested and recognised the efforts of the police, local government and others that worked with the local health district to get the drive-through clinic set up.

Sewage surveillance testing is another tool in the fight against COVID-19.

Sewage testing is ongoing at Dunbogan, Bonny Hills, Port Macquarie, South West Rocks and Coffs Harbour.

This story COVID-19 shuts down Coffs Harbour pub after confirmed exposure first appeared on Port Macquarie News.