Australia

NSW records first coronavirus death in 12 days, a woman linked to Sydney church cluster

A pedestrian is seen wearing a face mask at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Source: AAP

An elderly woman in NSW has died from COVID-19, bringing the state's death toll to 53 and the national toll to 361.

NSW has recorded its first COVID-19 death in more than 10 days after an elderly woman died from the virus.

The woman, in her 80s, is the 53rd COVID-19 death in NSW and brings the national toll to 361.

NSW Health said the woman was linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon Church cluster in Sydney.

The last COVID-19 death in NSW was on 1 August - an 83-year-old man who was linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in Casula.

NSW recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, with four linked to known clusters, three with no known source and five in hotel quarantine.

As of Wednesday, 19 cases were linked to Cherrybrook's Tangara School for Girls. The original source is still unknown.

The outbreak has been linked to a nearby Opus Dei Catholic study centre, Eremeran, which has closed for cleaning after recently hosting five senior schoolgirls taking part in a religious retreat.

Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, northwest of Sydney.
Tangara School for Girls in Cherrybrook, northwest of Sydney.
AAP

A third confirmed case has been identified at Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta, which will remain closed until 24 August to allow for contact tracing. Staff and students there have been told to isolate and get tested.

Parramatta Public School, which was closed on Wednesday after a student tested positive, will reopen on Thursday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned NSW might need tougher measures to halt the spread of the virus and could make wearing masks mandatory on public transport, at religious services and in supermarkets.

Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday admitted her major concern was the "cumulative accumulation of those unknown sources" of infection.

She reiterated the state was on high alert as it tries to contain the virus clusters.

A pub in Sydney's inner west has been slapped with two fines totalling $10,000 for what Liquor and Gaming said was a "complete disregard" of compulsory COVID-19 safety measures.

Inspectors found the Garry Owen Hotel in Rozelle wasn't registered as COVID safe, sign-in procedures were not enforced, there was a lack of hygiene processes, customers were standing and mingling while drinking and physical distancing was not enforced.

Inspectors labelled it "the worst pub seen so far" over its litany of COVID safety breaches.

"The venue was essentially being operated as though there were no restrictions in place," director of compliance Dimitri Argeres said in a statement.

"Now is not the time to be facilitating mingling among strangers, let alone allowing patrons to stand on your pub balcony sculling beers."

Eight other venues were fined this week for COVID-19 safety breaches including the Riverview Hotel in Balmain, the Dry Dock Hotel in Balmain, the Padstow Park Hotel, the Padstow Bowling Club, the Marrickville Ritz, Randwick's Royal Hotel and Yai Thai in Gosford.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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