Taylor Swift party exposure site, new case numbers, Newcastle alert, Netflix Carriageworks production’s COVID-19 shutdown

A growing Omicron variant cluster has been linked to a dance party in Sydney.

At least 97 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been linked to the “On Repeat: Taylor Swift Red Party” at Metro Theatre on December 10.

NSW Health said it is “likely” some of these cases have the Omicron variant of concern.

A Taylor Swift dance party is now the centre of an Omicron outbreak.
A Taylor Swift dance party is now the centre of an Omicron outbreak. (Supplied/Google Maps)

Anyone who attended the event from 9pm onwards on Friday, December 10, is now considered a close contact and must get tested and isolate for seven days.

More than 600 people attended the event.

NSW Health has also asked all household contacts of anyone who attended the event to get tested and isolated until a negative result is received

It comes as NSW posted the unwelcome record of 1742 new COVID-19 cases, with almost half of the infections recorded in the state’s Hunter region.

There were no deaths and numbers in intensive care remain relatively low at 26 patients.

Of the 1742 new cases today, 633 of those were reported from the Hunter New England Local Health District.

This includes 267 from Newcastle and 213 from Lake Macquarie.

As a result of the surging cluster in Newcastle, testing sites are seeing huge queues.

Some people are being turned away and asked to come back later today after some testing sites in the city reach capacity.

Some COVID-19 testing clinics have reached capacity in Newcastle.
Some COVID-19 testing clinics have reached capacity in Newcastle. (9News)

A new alert was issued for the Cambridge Hotel on Hunter Street.

If you attended the venue at the following times you are deemed a close contact.

Anybody who was at the venue between 6.20pm and 2.30am last Friday night and Saturday morning must get tested and isolate for seven days.

COVID-19 testing sites in Newcastle are chock-full. (Darren Pateman)

More than 200 COVID-19 cases have already been linked to a Newcastle nightclub, which Health Minister Brad Hazzard said stemmed from an alleged isolation breacher travelling from Sydney to the Hunter Valley city.

However, just 10 people are in hospital in the Hunter region, with three in intensive care.

Newcastle music festival cancelled

A sold-out music festival in Newcastle has been cancelled under a public health order.

The Lunar Electric music festival was due to take place this Saturday, but will not go ahead due to the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

NSW Health said it continues to be concerned about the ongoing spread of the virus, which is believed to be primarily the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Netflix production shut down in Sydney

Meanwhile, a Netflix production in central Sydney has been forced to shut down after a COVID-19 case was detected.

A Netflix production at the Carriageworks has been shut down due to COVID-19. (Wolter Peeters)

The production was taking place at the Carriageworks in Eveleigh.

Queues were long at a testing site in Bondi, with hundreds of cars in line.

Restrictions change in NSW despite rising case numbers

The NSW government is pressing ahead with its re-opening strategy despite the rapidly rising case numbers.

Remaining restrictions, save for limited mask rules and QR code check-ins, were lifted yesterday for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, while Premier Dominic Perrottet announced more changes.

There were huge queues for COVID-19 testing at Bondi in Sydney. (9News)

Essentially, only household members of a confirmed COVID-19 case will be considered close contacts, and they will have to do the full seven days of isolation.

Other contacts will need to isolate until a negative COVID-19 test result is returned.

It means fewer people will need to be in isolation over Christmas.

The modelling was based on outbreaks and analysis of Omicron cases in South Africa and the UK.

Mr Hazzard said NSW needed to be “on alert”, as Omicron cases were “doubling every two to three days”.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has warned that NSW could potentially record 25,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. (Nine)

Vaccines were not stopping the transmission of Omicron, Mr Hazzard added.

“But it would appear the severity of illness is not as bad as it was with previous variants of the coronavirus,” he said.

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Under the “extreme risk” category, travel from New South Wales to WA will not be permitted unless approved under the strictest of conditions, the WA Government said in a statement. NSW was previously classified as “high risk”.

Approved travellers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the 72 hours prior to departure, undergo hotel quarantine for 14 days, and be re-tested on days 1,5, and 14.

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