Covid-19 Australia: NSW records 536 new cases as nightclub revellers told to isolate

NSW has recorded 536 new Covid-19 cases with hundreds of nightclub revellers ordered to isolate after they were ‘likely’ exposed to the Omicron variant. 

NSW Health issued an alert for The Argyle House nightclub in Newcastle late Sunday night identifying all attendees as close contacts after transmission of Covid at the venue on the night of December 8. 

The cluster is linked to a boat party five nights earlier on Sydney Harbour where at least five people caught the virus.

The number of infections linked to The Argyle House nightclub outbreak is 24 with some ‘likely’ to be the Omicron variant, NSW Health said.

NSW has recorded 536 new Covid-19 cases with hundreds of nightclub revellers ordered to isolate after they were ‘likely’ exposed to the Omicron variant

NSW Health issued an alert for The Argyle House nightclub in Newcastle late Sunday night identifying all attendees as close contacts after transmission of Covid at the venue on the night of December 8

Some 74,997 tests were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday (pictured, healthcare worker conducting test on driver in Liverpool, western Sydney)

The new cases announced on Monday is an increase from the 485 announced on Sunday. 

The figure is slightly lower than the 560 recorded on Saturday, which marked the highest daily tally recorded in NSW since October 9, two days before lockdown lifted. 

Some 74,997 tests were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

The double-dose vaccination rate of those 16 and older remains at 93.1 per cent, while 94.8 per cent of people have had their first jab.

There are 171 people are in hospital with the virus, 24 of them in intensive care. 

Anyone who was at the Newcastle nightclub between 9pm December 8 and to 3am December 9 are close contacts and must immediately get tested and isolate for seven days, regardless of the result.

The rule applies to all 680 people who checked in using the QR code that night and to anyone who did not check in.

Household contacts of anyone who attended the nightclub are also ordered to immediately get tested and isolate until the close contact tests negative, due to the high transmission at the venue.

‘This follows recent outbreaks associated with the Albion Hotel at Parramatta, Oxford Tavern at Petersham, Cult Nightclub in Potts Point and the party boat cruise on Sydney Harbour,’ NSW Health said.

‘NSW Health is concerned about increased transmission taking place in larger social venues such as these, and we urge people not to attend social functions if they have any symptoms, even if mild.’

More than 700 people who were at The Argyle House nightclub (pictured) in Newcastle on the night of December 8 have been ordered to test tested and isolate for seven days

The nightclub cluster stems from a outbreak on a Sydney party cruise on December 3 (pictured)

Newcastle recorded its first case of Omicron, a female traveller who recently returned from Britain on Sunday.

The latest alert was issued hours after NSW recorded Australia’s first hospital admission of Omicron 

The state recorded 485 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, as the tally of Omicron infections rose to 55. There are at least 62 around Australia.

Health officials confirmed one patient with Omicron is in hospital, becoming the first admission in Australia with the new variant.

They are among 156 Covid patients being treated in hospital in NSW.

24 cases of Covid have been linked to the The Argyle House nightclub (pictured) in Newcastle

Australia has recorded its first first hospital admission of the Omicron variant (pictured, passengers being tested at Sydney Airport

NSW Health warned the number of Omicron cases will rise as results of genomic testing are confirmed.

NSW Covid cases slightly dropped following two consecutive days of more than 500 infections.

Two deaths were recorded, a man aged in his 70s while the other man was in his 80s. Both were unvaccinated.  

The state had on Saturday recorded the highest number of cases since October 9, two days before lockdown lifted.

Dozens of demonstrators took to Sydney’s Hyde Park on Sunday to  protest the introduction of vaccine mandates across several industries.

Health officials confirmed Australia’s first hospital admission of Omicron as protesters packed Sydney’s streets to oppose vaccine mandates

A string of existing restrictions are expected to be scrapped on Wednesday as planned, including density limits, QR check-ins risk venues, and masks.

Freedoms will also increase for the 6.9 per cent of the NSW population over-16 who aren’t fully vaccinated.

Experts warned cases will continue to rise as restrictions are eased.

‘It is quite possible and quite likely that we will see a further increase with the unvaccinated being able to mix in those venues,’ infectious diseases specialist Sanjaya Senanayake told Weekend Today on Sunday.

‘However, New South Wales is very well vaccinated so hopefully we should be able to contain those increasing cases.’ 

The tally of Omicron infections in NSW stands at 55 and is expected to continue rising

Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 1069 new cases and two deaths as Queensland recorded one new cases.

The returned traveller from Nigeria currently in hotel quarantine ‘likely’ has the Omicron variant.

‘We’re very closely following his genomic sequencing results which should be available in the next two days … obviously very interested whether this maybe Omicron,’ deputy chief health officer James Smith said.