‘Very disappointing’: Virus case shuts pub
A New South Wales pub is hoping its staff and customers "are given a clean bill of health" after a teenage tourist from Victoria tested positive for COVID-19.
The infected boy and his family were tested before leaving their home city of Melbourne "and the results were originally reported negative", according to NSW Health on Wednesday.
They arrived in NSW on Saturday, July 4 and went to a pub in Merimbula for lunch the following day.
"The only event that the family did outside the family group was visit the Tathra Hotel," NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
"The child and his family were not from a hot spot in Melbourne at the time of leaving Melbourne."
NSW Health said after the family arrived in the state "they learnt (from Victoria Health) the child's test was reported positive".
"Before learning the result, the family had visited the Tathra Hotel," it said.
Dr Chant said the family were advised "there had been an error" with the test result.
The health department has been contacting pub staff and other patrons there between 1.30pm and 3pm on July 5 but considers their risk of contracting the coronavirus to be "very low", noting the pub had a COVID-19 plan in place.
"The case and contacts are in isolation," it said.
"NSW Health is urging anyone with even the mildest of respiratory symptoms or fever in Southern NSW Local Health District area to attend a COVID-19 clinic or the GP for testing."
Anyone living in or around Merimbula who is feeling unwell is being urged to get tested "immediately".
Anyone with even the mildest of respiratory symptoms or fever in the @SNSWLHD area is being urged to attend a #COVID19 clinic for testing, after a child holidaying in Merimbula tested positive to #COVID19: https://t.co/xoB4PteORy pic.twitter.com/YWAXtIAoeC— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 8, 2020
In social media posts on Wednesday, the heritage-listed hotel said it would be closed for a short time "following the news that a patron at lunch on Sunday tested positive for COVID".
"NSW Health have been more than happy with the way the hotel has been dealing with the restrictions and have advised that we do not need to close," the posts read.
"However, all the staff that were working on Sunday need to get tested and are not allowed back at the hotel until they have a negative test result.
"So the hotel is closed due to a staff shortage rather than any health orders."
It said it was "very disappointing to have to close again" but hoped it would not be for long.
"We hope that all our staff and customers who get tested are given a clean bill of health."
The posts were peppered with best wishes and questions from patrons who recently attended.
"NSW Health have so far only advised that those in the hotel between 1.30pm and 3pm on Sunday were at risk. To date our Monday contact list has not been requested," the hotel said.
One woman said the pub's protocols were "very obvious to us all".
"We actually commented on how well managed it was. Well done and hope you reopen soon. Stay safe," she said.
Another woman wrote: "As a visitor to the area and patron at the hotel on Monday evening I and was really impressed with all the safety measures being implemented by the hotel and town in general.
"Keep up the good work and hope you all get negative tests results and are able to open soon," she said.
A patron who dined there on Sunday night said she was "so sad" for the venue, adding that her group had been "so impressed with food, service and protocols".
Tathra Hotel, which closed on March 23, only reopened on June 1 as business and gathering restrictions were eased across NSW.
It has six sponsored chefs from overseas who have since returned to work despite being put in a "very bad situation with no government assistance" during that time.
"Unfortunately the government would not include them in the JobKeeper scheme," the hotel said on Facebook when it reopened.
"So for the past two months we have been supporting them and their families with much appreciated help from Mick Brosnan and The Social Justice Advocates, who raised more than $10,000 - wonderful generosity in difficult times.
"A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated!"
The boy's case is not being included in NSW figures as his test was in Victoria.
Originally published as 'Very disappointing': Virus case shuts pub