Coronavirus Australia live news: Sydney Northern Beaches cluster grows, prompting 21 beaches to be closed

Professor Paul Kelly, acting Chief Medical Officer says Government is watching the Northern Beaches outbreak with concern. Prof Kelly said there are a number of positives amid the gloom.

“Firstly, all of the cases so far are linked to two specific places in Avalon, adjacent to a bowling club and an RSL. Every case so far has been linked to those two locations. It appears there was some sort of super spreading event on the 11th and/or the 13th of the month. So that’s the first thing, just two places.

“The second thing, is all of the cases so far, virtually all of the cases have been in that Northern Beaches area, a very small cluster of suburbs in that northern part of Sydney.

“The third thing is the tremendous response from the community in terms going out and getting tested. Extraordinary there. 

“And the last thing which I would say which is positive there, is this is NSW Health. We know how competent they are and they have gone through these type of events before. People will remember the Cross Roads Hotel and other clusters. They know what to do and are doing in the calm, consistent, rapid fashion.

“I guess the concerning thing for me at the moment, we don’t know exactly where it might have started. We do know there is a link with the confirmation of the genomic sequencing overnight in relation to this particular virus that it is a United States of America strain and very similar to a person that arrived on a flight from LA on 1 December. So, that’s the likely source. But how it got to the bowling club and the RSL and then consequently on to this cluster of cases remains somewhat of a mystery at the moment.”

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