8 July 2020

Tathra Hotel closes for fourth time after COVID-19 case

| Dominic Giannini
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Tathra Hotel

The Tathra Hotel has closed while staff are being tested after a patron was confirmed to have COVID-19. Photo: tathrahotel.com.au.

The Tathra Hotel has been closed for the third time since the bushfires after a teenager tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting the hotel on Sunday (5 July).

The hotel has announced it would be closed for a short time “due to a staff shortage rather than any health orders” after all staff who were there on Sunday need to get tested and isolate until their results return.

“NSW Health have been more than happy with the way the hotel has been dealing with the restrictions and have advised that we do not need to close,” it said in a social media post.

“The hotel will be following all instructions from NSW Health in regard to cleaning and sanitisation, as we have been since reopening.

“We hope that all our staff and customers who get tested are given a clean bill of health.”

Results can take between 24 to 72 hours to be returned.

A COVID Safety plan at the Tathra Hotel means the risk to patrons is very low, the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said, but she advised that 80 people were on the contact tracing list provided by the hotel when the teenager was there.

The teenager and his family had been tested before leaving Victoria for the South Coast and were given a clean bill of health before Victorian health authorities alerted the family to a mistake with the teenager’s test and he had actually tested positive.

The family is currently isolating in Merimbula and the only close non-family contacts the family had occurred when they visited the Tathra Hotel, Dr Chant said.

Dr Chant also urged people from the South Coast communities to come forward and get tested to help stop the spread of the virus, and has warned people displaying symptoms against travelling, going to work or taking public transport.

“The boy and his family are not from a hotspot and travelled to NSW on 4 July,” Dr Chant said.

“Their actions have been exemplary. They did exactly what we wanted people to do. The child had symptoms, they got tested, they got clearance before taking those actions.

“I believe it was a genuine error, that they had provided a negative result when it should have been a positive result. Everyone has to understand that there is a lot of testing and there will occasionally be these errors.

“The other key message is it does not give you a licence to go out and about if you have symptoms,” she said.

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