10-case COVID-19 cluster at Bondi pub

Gina Rushton and Hannah RyanAAP
Service NSW's app will alert people if a COVID-19 case is connected to a venue they've visited.
Camera IconService NSW's app will alert people if a COVID-19 case is connected to a venue they've visited. Credit: AAP

A Bondi hotel has been referred to the regulator after at least 10 COVID-19 cases were linked to the venue.

It's the second alert issued by NSW Health for a hotspot venue in Sydney this week after at least 15 cases were linked to a gym in inner-city Darlinghurst.

Anyone who attended the Tea Gardens Hotel near Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday evening from 7.30pm to close is considered a casual contact and must be tested, NSW Health said on Friday evening.

At least 10 people attended the pub while infectious or may have acquired their infection there on Saturday.

The hotel has been referred to the Office of Liquor and Gaming to review its compliance with COVID-safe measures, the department said in a tweet.

The news comes as the Service NSW app is upgraded to allow users to receive a push alert if a COVID-19 case is connected to a venue they've recently checked in to.

The app's six million users can already see if they've crossed paths with a case, with a red dot appearing next to the venue in their recent check-in history.

"This is an additional service not seen in any other state or territory," Digital and Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said on Friday.

Those who are alerted of their exposure should get tested but don't need to self-isolate unless instructed by NSW Health.

Contact tracers will continue to contact positive cases and close contacts to provide them with testing and isolation advice, said Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

Despite the city hotspots, more than half of the state's new cases were detected outside Sydney on Friday.

In the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, there were 54 positive tests returned in the Hunter New England Local Health District, 52 in the Murrumbidgee area and 13 on the state's Mid North Coast, with additional cases in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region and Southern NSW.

An unvaccinated woman in her 90s died at a Tarrawanna aged care facility, north of Wollongong, where she acquired her infection, and a man in his 70s died at an Albury aged care facility in Albury, where he acquired his infection.

He had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

There have been 566 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since the start of the pandemic.

There are 363 people hospitalised with the virus - 80 in intensive care and 32 requiring ventilation.

Some 93.5 per cent of NSW residents over 16 have received at least one vaccine, with 87 per cent fully vaccinated.

Of those aged 12 to 15, 78.7 per cent have had one dose and 56.7 per cent have received both.

Meanwhile, a pilot program for rapid antigen home testing kits in public schools will begin in Albury, near the Victorian border, next week.

The kits will be handed out by schools for use at home by staff and students who have to do a test twice a week as part of community surveillance.

They will also be used for close contact testing to identify positive cases on school sites.

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