COVID-19

Six cases in guarded Blacktown Covid block

Residents living in the building on Devitt St, Blacktown were alerted to the positive cases around 1pm on Monday after receiving a text message urging them to immediately self-isolate.Within hours, a squad of NSW Health nurses was deployed to all 50 units and every resident swabbed, with results returned later that evening.Police were also deployed to the unit block, which remains under 24-hour guard to ensure no one leaves or enters the building for the next two weeks. A statement from Western Sydney Local Health District confirmed six cases had been detected inside the building across three households so far.“Six cases of COVID-19 have been identified in three associated households in an apartment block of 50 units in Blacktown,” the statement read.“All residents of the building have been determined to be close contacts.”The residents’ close contact status means they will need to isolate until at least August 9.WSLHD said infection control measures were in place and police and security would guard the building while food and medical supplies would be organised for residents, as well as welfare checks.“(Health officials) in collaboration with other agencies, are implementing measures to address infection control and the health and welfare of residents,” the statement read.“Food and other services, including daily welfare checks, will be provided to residents safely during their 14-day quarantine period. Tailored support services will be provided to all isolated residents as needed.”Resident David Adams, 52, said the rapid response team tested residents, some of who had been vaccinated, within a matter of hours. “They did the Covid test last night and said there are five different units that have got Covid … There were nurses and police everywhere,” he said. He said many of the residents at the block were foreigners, the disabled and elderly, prompting concerns about the potential risk of an outbreak in the unit block.“There are a handful of over 70s and the rest are young families but there’s also people with disability like a blind bloke and a lot of people from overseas that don’t speak English and understand what’s going on,” he said.Many were also concerned about losing work and being unable to pay rent, he said.“It’s community housing so cheaper rent but they’re still paying and now many have lost work.”One of the residents Thayaparan Sivagnanasundaram described frantic scenes as the squad of nurses swabbed every resident and ordered everyone into self-isolation. “We heard about the case and my whole family has been tested. The building has 50 units,” he said. “We are so stressed. My kids can’t go to school, we can’t go out for two weeks and I can’t work.”NSW Health has yet to publicly comment.It comes following a two week shutdown for an apartment block in Bondi after eight cases were found inside the building. NAT – Stay Informed – Social Media

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