NSW Covid: Newcastle Knights caught up in nightclub cluster

Newcastle Knights players and staff are isolating after being linked to an outbreak at a local nightclub.

Newcastle Knights players and staff are isolating after being linked to a Covid ‘superspreader’ outbreak at a local nightclub.

So far, no players have returned a positive result but are isolating due to ties with close contacts of the cluster, according to media reports.

The Daily Telegraph reported the team’s general manager of football Danny Buderus as saying no players actually attended The Argyle House in Newcastle on Wednesday December 8 when the outbreak occurred.

However, in line with the club’s protocols, every staff member who was at work on Monday has been advised to get tested and self isolate until they receive a negative result.

Buderus said he was hopeful many could return to work on Tuesday after receiving the all clear from health authorities.

On Monday, 60 nightclub attendees tested positive after the venue was exposed to “high transmission” of the virus, causing a superspreading event.

A total of 84 people who attended the nightclub have now tested positive, prompting NSW Health to update its advice for the venue.

“All 680 people who checked in using the QR code to attend the venue from 9pm on Wednesday December 8 to 3am, 9 December have been assessed as close contacts and must immediately get tested and isolate for 7 days,” NSW Health said in a statement.

NSW Health is appealing for anyone who did not check in using the QR code to urgently get tested and isolate, and for the community to ensure other potential attendees are aware of this advice.

It is believed up to 700 people including household contacts and family members are now isolating.

“Everyone should remain vigilant when celebrating with family, friends and colleagues, and should not attend any social functions if they have any symptoms,” NSW Health said.

The outbreak is linked to the “ultimate RnB” party boat cruise on Sydney Harbour on December 4 where at least three people tested positive to the Omicron strain.

NSW Health believes some of the guests at that party then travelled to Newcastle and attended the nightclub, with 24 people testing positive to Covid-19.

A number of the infections are likely to be the Omicron variant, according to NSW Health.

While it is not yet clear how many cases from the nightclub have the Omicron strain, NSW recorded nine new confirmed cases of the variant on Monday.

“More cases of Omicron are expected as results of genomic testing are confirmed,” NSW Health said.

NSW recorded a total of 536 new cases on Monday, with 171 people admitted to hospital and 24 in intensive care.

Health authorities have confirmed a NSW resident infected with the Omicron variant has become the first to be hospitalised with that particular strain.

NSW Health confirmed the case in its daily Covid update on Sunday.

More cases of the new strain are expected to be identified following the completion of genomic sequencing.

Of the population aged over 16, 94.8 per cent have had their first jab, while 93.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, for the population aged between 12 and 15, 81.4 per cent have had one dose, while 77.7 per cent have had two.

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