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A trivia night at an inner-west Sydney pub last month is the source of a new COVID-19 cluster after 44 people were diagnosed with the virus.
Despite the rise in cases, NSW Premier Dom Perrottet says that ‘it is time to go out and live alongside the virus’.
‘It is time to go out and learn to live alongside the virus. I want people to go out and enjoy the best of what Sydney has to offer,’ he said.
‘I think it’s great people going out and having a party again, enjoying their Christmas parties, so they should, that’s the great aspect of our city.
‘As we start to enjoy life again, as we have in the past, people will contract Covid,’ Perrottet said.
The pub patrons were diagnosed after the trivia night at the popular Oxford Tavern in Petersham on November 30, Sydney Local Health District said on Wednesday night.
‘Anyone who was there that night is considered a close contact and must get tested immediately and self-isolate,’ it said in a Facebook post.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is calling on residents to go out despite a rise in Covid cases
Patrons who were fully vaccinated can come out of isolation if they have had a negative test on or after December 6, but will need to have another test on Sunday.
‘If you have not been fully vaccinated, please remain in isolation until December 12, and have another test on this date,’ the post said.
The outbreak comes a day after NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant attributed a spike in daily cases numbers to increased transmission in large venues such as pubs, clubs and parties as people began socialising freely again.
Most of the 403 new cases reported in NSW on Wednesday were in local health districts in metropolitan Sydney.
The daily case number rose above 400 for the first time since early October, when many restrictions were eased.
NSW Health is also trying to track down 140 people who signed into a Cadman Cruise on Sydney Harbour on December 3, after five cases were linked to the event.
At least two are suspected to involve the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Dr Chant said transmission was ‘predominantly occurring in vaccinated individuals’ who experienced mild symptoms.
‘So my key message is don’t attend any functions if you have any symptoms, however mild,’ she said on Wednesday.
Despite the surge in new cases on Wednesday, there were four fewer people in hospital and 25 people in intensive care.
Some seven people were on ventilators, two more than the previous day, when there were 28 people in intensive care.
None of the 34 people in NSW diagnosed with the Omicron variant has been admitted to hospital, so far.
The NSW Premier also confirmed restrictions for all residents – including the unvaccinated – will ease as planned on December 15.
‘We’ve always said that when we open up that case numbers will rise,’ Mr Perrottet said.
‘The best thing you can do is get vaccinated and have a booster shot. That’s the best way to keep yourself and your family safe.
‘It is unsustainable and untenable for NSW to remain closed. We’ve always said to the people of our state that when the vaccination rate increases, we will open up, that’s exactly what we’ve done, we’re sticking to the plan.’
Mr Perrottet added we ‘need to live alongside this virus’ as well as the variants that come with it.
“The pandemic is not over, we need to make sure we remain safe and the best way to do that is go out, get vaccinated,’ he added.