Speaking to Today, Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson said it had been a “worrying” few days, with the region anxiously waiting to see if cases will emerge.
“After all we’ve gone through to get to the Easter holidays and now to have this uncertainty hanging over our head – it’s a really worrying couple of days,” Mr Richardson told Today.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning confirmed a local man in his 20s had tested positive to COVID-19 overnight.
The man had been at the Byron Beach Hotel on Friday night, seated near a group of Queensland women visiting for a hen’s party, a number of whom were infectious.
The positive case has prompted health alerts for two Ballina venues: Henry Rous Tavern on 117 River Street in Ballina and Ballina Golf and Sports Club in East Ballina.
The man visited the tavern between 1.20pm and 2.20pm and the sports store between 2.25pm and 2.35pm, both on Sunday.
New health alerts have also been issued for a number of venues visited by the hen’s party on Saturday, including a burger bar, retail stores and a pharmacy.
Anyone who visited those locations at the listed times is considered a casual contact of a COVID-19 case and is being directed to immediately get tested and isolate until receiving a negative result.
The venues of concern are as follows:
- Boards in the Bay, 12 Lawson Street – 12.40-12.45pm, Saturday March 27
- Byron Bay Central Pharmacy, 31 Jonson Street – 1.05-1.10pm, Saturday March 27
- Main Street Burger Bar, 18 Jonson Street – 1.15-1.20pm, Saturday March 27
- Surf, Dive & Ski, 2/14 Jonson Street – 1.25-1.30pm, Saturday March 27
- Ghanda, 3/8 Lawson Street – 12-12.30pm, Saturday March 27 (earlier timeframe has been extended)
Earlier, Mr Richardson said it was likely cases would arise in the Byron Bay area.
“You’d be naive to think that there won’t be any positive testing over the next week or two, because of course what comes out today will only be a snapshot for the last couple of days,” he said.
“As we know some of the positive cases can take a few days to emerge. I guess what we need to do is just find out the information as soon as we can and then respond appropriately.”
About 4000 people have come forward to be tested in the region, with Mr Richardson describing the result as “pleasing”.
“The queues, the very first day, were pretty long and arduous and tested the patience, but yesterday we rolled out a lot more testing stations and the queues were pretty manageable,” he said.
These include limiting the number of people in private residences to 30 people, the return of the four-square-metre rule for venues and compulsory masks.