Second person with COVID-19 visited venues in Merimbula

Second person with COVID-19 visited venues in Merimbula

A second person who tested positive for COVID-19 visited venues in Merimbula recently.

A Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) spokesperson confirmed the person had visited the region, and that it was unrelated to the previously-reported case of the Victorian teenager with the virus who visited Merimbula.

On social media, NSW Health said Victoria's Department of Health had reported two Victorian cases separately attended several venues in NSW, including:

  • July 4 and 5 at the Murray Downs Golf Club
  • July 5 lunch at Cook at Kurnell
  • July 5 dinner at Highfield, Caringbah
  • July 6 dinner at the Merimbula RSL
  • July 7 breakfast at the Waterfront Café, Merimbula

"While investigations are underway, NSW Health urges anyone who attended these venues at these times must watch for respiratory symptoms or fever, and if they occur, isolate and get tested for COVID-19 right away," the health department said on social media.

An email to Merimbula's Waterfront Cafe from the SNSWLHD over the matter stated in part "[t]here is no ongoing risk to the café", and cafe owner Greg Ryzy told ACM his business had already instigated a number of health safety procedures in response to the pandemic.

These included contact tracing, sterilizing the cafe at the end of each day, checking the temperature of staff on arrival and advising them to stay home if they had flu-like symptoms, sterilization for deliveries, and are in constant contact with NSW Health.

"We're doing everything humanely possible at our end to protect our customers and staff," Mr Ryzy said.

"It was a low-risk COVID case. NSW Health has said we don't need to close down.

"But from the management and the owner, if you do start to feel signs of symptoms, go to a testing clinic and get yourself checked."

He urged all cafes and restaurants in the region to install a contact register which would allow contact tracing to take place, and asked customers to stop abuse his staff over the matter.

"We're all in this together and abusing my staff is not helpful," he said.

A SNSWLHD spokesperson said anyone displaying symptoms should not attend their workplace, should self-isolate and get tested.

"Anyone feeling unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, is urged to self-isolate and seek testing," they said.

"If you're unwell - call the Southern NSW helpline 1800 999 880 (option 1) to speak to a registered nurse and to book a free COVID-19 test today.

"It is essential people follow directions they receive about home isolation and quarantine and maintain COVID-safe practices of physical distancing of 1.5 metres, cough or sneeze into their elbow, and regularly wash their hands."

UPDATE, 11.45AM: Mr Ryzy said due to the abuse staff had been receiving over the issue the Waterfront Cafe would be closed for a short time while staff were sent for testing, even though NSW Health did not require staff to be tested for the virus.

UPDATE, 12PM: Merimbula RSL secretary-manager Michael Mutsch said due to the incident staff would be tested for the virus and the RSL would be closed until further notice, until all staff had received their test results.

He said once the results had been received a deep clean would be conducted at the club.

Mr Mutsch said the club had "followed the guidelines to the letter," including having a contact register, plenty of hand sanitizer, and had been conducting thorough cleans of the club.

This story Second person with COVID-19 visited venues in Merimbula first appeared on Bega District News.