Authorities have urged thousands of Sydneysiders to be on high alert for symptoms as more evidence is emerging of a possible viral cluster spreading undetected in the city.
Overnight, NSW Health announced that fragments of the virus, indicating recent and active infections, had been detected in the Marrickville sewage network, which services more than 42,000 people across multiple suburbs. Authorities are urging anyone living in Dulwich Hill, Summer Hill, Lewisham, Ashfield, Haberfield, Petersham, Lilyfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville to be especially vigilant for symptoms and to isolate and seek testing immediately if they become unwell, regardless of if they’ve been vaccinated or not.
On May 5, a man in his 50s tested positive and on May 6, a second locally acquired infection was announced the wife of the initial case, who has been dubbed ‘Barbecue Man’ as he visited four different barbecue stores in the days he is believed to have been infectious. More than 20 venues have now been identified as potential hot spots as contact tracers race to alert those potentially exposed, with more expected to be announced in the coming days.
As the case diagnosed on May 5 had no connection to border force officials or hotel quarantine workers and had not recently returned from overseas, the source of his infection was initially a mystery, possibly indicating an asymptomatic case unknowingly spreading infection within the community. NSW Health has now linked the case to a recent arrival from US who had contracted the Indian variant of the virus, although it has not yet been announced how the two people came into contact or how the virus managed to escape hotel quarantine protocols.