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NSW Confirms Community COVID Transmission Case

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NSW has a new local case of COVID, a mysterious infection in a man who spent several days in the community before being diagnosed.

The man, who is in his 50s, is described as having been “very active” in east-central Sydney in recent days.

His positive diagnosis was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon and is believed to be contagious since last Friday.

NSW Health is using the sites’ QR codes to track the man’s movements while he was contagious.

The Bondi Junction event cinema, along with numerous restaurants and retailers, are among the places of concern. Health officials want anyone who was at the cinema from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. last Friday to get tested for COVID.

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The infected man has not returned from overseas and is not working in quarantine at the hotel. Health officials say the source of his infection remains a mystery.

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“Genomic testing will give us some clues about the strain and therefore some potential links,” said Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

The results of genomic testing – which will include examining strains of the virus circulating in quarantine hotels and between states in New South Wales – are due Thursday morning.

NSW health official Kerry Chant said the man’s close contacts were also being tested and in isolation.

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Dr Chant said she did not believe the man was contagious in his workplace and that her main focus was on whether he had transmitted the virus to his household contacts.

“Understanding the source will be really important to understand how many cycles we’ve seen in the community that we haven’t yet recognized,” she said.

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Authorities were keeping an open mind as they sought to find the source of the man’s infection, she said.

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They also expect more cases to appear after the man’s mysterious diagnosis.

Ms Berejiklian said it was too early to say whether the latest case would trigger a return to stricter rules in NSW, but “all options are on the table”.

“We have to assume that there are other cases, and our response will be proportionate as it always has in New South Wales,” she said.

“No doubt this positive case will encourage more people to come forward and get tested, and that’s a good thing.”

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