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Origin of local NSW virus cases still a mystery one week on

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The state today recorded a week of no new cases of community transmission investigations into last week’s cases have failed to provide answers.

Health authorities in NSW remain stumped over how COVID-19 managed to leak from a quarantine hotel in Sydney's recent outbreak.

The state today recorded a week of no new cases of community transmission but investigations into the first local cases in over a month have failed to provide answers.

The couple in their 50s from Sydney's east tested positive on May 5 and were genomically linked with an overseas traveller from the US who entered hotel quarantine on April 26.

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"Despite extensive investigations into the source of two locally acquired cases announced last week, NSW Health has not identified how the initial case was exposed to COVID-19," NSW Health said in a tweet today.

"They may have acquired the infection through brief contact with a currently unidentified person who was infectious in the community."

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there has been no clear point of contact between the Sydney couple and the overseas traveller.

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"We have reviewed the CCTV footage. We have recreated the gentleman's walking route to see if there would be any opportunity for crossover. At this stage we haven't found that," Dr Chant said.

The "missing link" sparked the reintroduction of snap restrictions, including people being required to stay seated in pubs and bars and mandatory mask-wearing on public transport.

Restrictions were extended again last Thursday for another week.

The state recorded five new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine overnight with more than 17,000 people tested.

Source: 9News

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