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Goulburn hospital contractor tests positive to coronavirus

The hospital redevelopment. A man who tested positive to COVID was working on the site last week. Photo: Hannah Neale.
The hospital redevelopment. A man who tested positive to COVID was working on the site last week. Photo: Hannah Neale.

Update Tuesday 2pm

NSW Health has listed Hungry Jacks at Marulan as a venue of concern after two positive COVID cases visited there on Saturday.

Anyone who visited the service centre at 15597 Hume Highway between 5pm and 5.30pm on Saturday, July 10 is regarded as a casual contact and is advised to immediately undertake a coronavirus test and isolate until a negative test is confirmed.



People are also advised to check the NSW Government website regularly, as the list of venues of concern and relevant health advice are being updated as investigations continue.

Anyone with even the mildest of cold-like symptoms is urged to immediately come forward for testing and isolate until a negative result is received. There are more than 380 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman. Photo: Louise Thrower.

Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman. Photo: Louise Thrower.

Meantime, Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman said she understood community concern and noted "increased speculation" about the confirmed COVID case in Goulburn.

"I want to assure the community that NSW Health's rigorous contact tracing is underway and if there are any further locations of concern identified it will be made known through official channels. I will keep the community updated as information is provided to me," she wrote in a social media post.

The MP is liaising with the Southern NSW Local Health District regarding additional pop-up testing. Testing is already underway at the hospital and Seiffert Oval.

Update Tuesday 11.50am

In an address this morning, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the Goulburn case was infectious on July 9 and had been in isolation since July 10.

She said the government would "rapidly asses the risk around this gentleman".

"From the beginning we were very concerned of the risk of seeding into other areas.

"People are permitted to go to the regions for essential work but if you are doing that all you can do is go to work and go home."

Dr Chant emphasised that these workers were not permitted go to pubs, clubs or hospitality venues in regional areas.

"The same restrictions that apply in Greater Sydney apply to essential workers in the regions," Dr Chant said.

"Close contacts of close contacts are required to isolate, it is too infectious".

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a new Public Health Order requiring people who leave Fairfield for essential work to get tested for COVID-19 every three days, and people from Greater Sydney to undergo weekly tests.

She said this would "reduce the instance of essential workers passing on the virus".

In response to a question about the essential need for a painter to travel from Sydney to Goulburn to work on the hospital redevelopment, NSW health minister Brad Hazzard responded that it was "practically very challenging to define essential work".

The premier encouraged people from Greater Sydney to stay at home, "rather than looking for loop holes".

"In addition to the health orders exercise good common sense."

She urged business owners and people who work in service industries to ask patrons where they had travelled from.

Update Tuesday 11 am

BP Marulan Northbound is currently closed. A spokesperson at the store could not confirm whether it was related to the covid positive case.

Update Tuesday 10.40am

One Nation's Hume Regional Committee chairman and Goulburn man Richard Orchard has questioned how a worker from a Sydney hotspot was allowed into Goulburn.

"People are running around like headless chooks getting tested now because a contractor was granted exemption to come and work on the hospital," he said.

"That person could have gone to any number of places in Goulburn itself."

Mr Orchard personally knew staff at the hospital who had been advised to undergo testing since the positive case, which reportedly occurred last Thursday.

He said the Health Ministry, of all authorities, had a responsibility to keep COVID out of the regions.

"This is a great breach of trust and the Premier should explain how anyone could be so stupid as to allow this to occur," he said.

"While the regions have fared okay to date, we now have to treat this as real because the Ministry of Health has compromised us."

A spokeswoman for Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman said she had spoken to the Premier this morning and "represented constituents' very real concerns" about Sydney workers coming into the region.

Goulburn has registered a positive COVID case, according to the Health Ministry.

The Goulburn Post understands the case emanated from a hospital construction contractor from Sydney working on the $150 million redevelopment last week.

The man is now reportedly in isolation however The Post has been told that hundreds of people at the site and in the hospital have been advised to undergo testing.

Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman also confirmed the case.

"I am currently liaising with the local health district for additional pop-up testing clinics - more information to come," she posted on her Facebook page.

The Post has also asked NSW Health about its screening procedures for contractors from Sydney hotspots and what testing was now in place.

Goulburn Hospital COVID testing is available from Tuesday to Friday from 7am - 4pm (until all patients have been tested) and 9am - 1pm Saturday and Sunday.

Laverty drive through is also at Seiffert Oval available 8am - 5pm weekdays and 8am - 1.30pm Saturday and Sunday.

This story COVID case hits Goulburn with hospital construction worker first appeared on Goulburn Post.

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