Byna 100 Covid cases linked to Sydney Taylor Swift party as Newcastle residents urged to postpone celebrations

Ten minste 97 people have caught Covid-19 at a Taylor Swift-themed dance party in Sydney, as NSW cases escalate to record levels.

NSW Gesondheid issued an alert on Thursday evening about the “On Repeat: Taylor Swift Red Party” at Sydney’s Metro theatre, met ten minste 600 people who arrived after 9pm on Friday deemed close contacts.

NSW Health said it was likely some of the new cases were the Omicron variant.

The revellers must be tested and self-isolate for seven days, and their household contacts also need to be tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

It comes after a man was ordered to pay $10,000 after allegedly skipping self-isolation and then going clubbing in Newcastle before testing positive.

NSW police said the 20-year-old was directed to self-isolate at a Newcastle property from last Wednesday because he was a close contact of a positive case.

In plaas daarvan, he attended a licensed premises on Wharf Road that night, and went to another person’s house on Saturday.

Meer as 200 people acquired the virus at a Wednesday night party at the Argyle House nightclub on Wharf Road.

Health authorities have ordered the cancellation of a Newcastle music festival and urged people to postpone Christmas celebrations as the regional city becomes the epicentre of the Omicron-fuelled outbreak in NSW.

The Lunar Electric music festival was due to take place in Newcastle on Saturday, boasting The Veronicas, Pendulum and Darude in its line-up.

But the government cancelled the event under a public health order on Thursday afternoon.

“NSW Health considered that the ongoing spread of Covid-19 in the Newcastle area … presents too great a risk for the festival to take place this weekend,” the agency said in a statement.

The Hunter is the location of 633 of the record 1,742 new cases in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

Health authorities believe the majority of the Hunter’s 633 cases are Omicron, but most have not been confirmed as the variant yet.

The cluster has been driven by super-spreading events at pubs and clubs.

Health authorities want the Newcastle community to seriously consider putting off social events until after Christmas to keep family gatherings safe.

An alert was issued on Wednesday night for another Newcastle pub.

Anyone who was at the Cambridge hotel on Hunter Street between 6.30pm on Friday and 2.30am on Saturday must get tested and isolate for seven days.

The government on Thursday extended the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, bringing it into line with Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

All health practitioners – including doctors, nurses, speech pathologists and naturopaths and support staff working in public and private settings – must be double-dosed by 31 Januarie.

The mandate previously applied only in public and private hospitals.

The number of cases reported on Thursday is a jump from the previous day’s tally of 1,360 gevalle. The state has now recorded 122 cases of the Omicron variant.

The previous highest daily tally in NSW was recorded on 11 September, when there were 1,599 local cases.

There were no deaths recorded.

Authorities are hoping the high vaccination rates – 93.3% of adults are fully jabbed – will keep the stress on the health system to a minimum.

Researchers from UNSW’s Kirby Institute have concluded two vaccine doses have little to no effect on the transmissibility of the Omicron variant but protection against severe disease – particularly with a booster shot – remains.

Daar was 192 mense in die hospitaal (vanaf 166), 26 of them in ICU (up two).

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