Wollongong Hospital staff have been warned to get tested and self-isolate if they attended a nearby convenience store which was visited by a confirmed COVID case over a week ago.
Staff were told on Friday either in person, or by text message, that if they visited the 7-Eleven store on Crown Street on July 6 or 7, between the hours of 7.30am and 2pm, they need to immediately get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received.
In the text message, marked ‘Urgent’, staff were told testing “must be done ASAP”.
And just after 11pm on Friday night, NSW Health added the 7-Eleven store opposite the hospital to its ever-growing list of venues of concern visited by confirmed COVID cases.
NSW Health advised that anyone who attended the 7-Eleven on the above dates and times was a casual contact who must get tested and isolate until a negative result was received.
The Mercury has asked NSW Health is the confirmed case was a customer, supplier or worker at the store. An Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District spokeswoman said details of individual cases cannot be released.
She said anyone who attended the venue – only at the times listed – must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received. They should continue to monitor for symptoms and if any symptoms occur, get tested again.
“Given the venue’s close proximity to Wollongong Hospital, out of an abundance of caution, hospital management communicated the times of concern and the relevant public health advice to staff immediately,” she said. “There has been no impact on staffing levels at Wollongong Hospital.”
It comes after a person who later tested positive for COVID-19 attended a construction site in Wollongong in the week beginning July 5. It is not known if this incident is linked to the 7-Eleven alert.
Earlier this week an Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District spokeswoman said there was no ongoing public health risk from the incident at the construction site.
“The Public Health Unit assessed the site and identified all contacts who have been contacted for testing and isolation, as required,” the spokesperson said last Monday. “There is no ongoing public health risk at this site.”
NSW Health would not give additional detail on the confirmed case who visited the site, however the Mercury understands the person was from outside the region.
As of Friday morning, there remained three active cases of COVID in the local health district – all who have been linked to confirmed cases linked to the Sydney outbreak, and in isolation while infectious.
There are no patients in the hospital’s dedicated COVID ward or intensive care unit.