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120 inmates sentenced to solitary confinement as COVID case sends Hunter Valley hotel for homeless people into custody

By on September 3, 2021 0

A motel near Newcastle is on lockdown with dozens of guests tested for COVID-19 after a woman staying there tested positive for the virus.

The woman is among 10 new cases of COVID in the Hunter Valley area on Friday.

She was staying in a motel about 12 miles from Newcastle with, according to the ABC, about 120 guests.

The motel offers inexpensive accommodation for people without permanent accommodation due to a rental crisis in the area.

Hunter’s public health comptroller Dr David Durrheim said the woman’s case was of concern as guests mingled and some exhibited flu-like symptoms.

“She’s been contagious for a while and active in the community and we also know there is a lot of mix up in the motel itself,” he said.

“There are a number of people who are symptomatic and there is a full-scale operation to make sure everyone is tested and everyone is isolated on the spot.

“We are working closely with motel owners and managers and NSW Police to ensure we keep residents and the community safe.”

“Already isolated”

Ann Fletcher, of Port Stephens Family and Neighborhood Services, said she has clients staying at the motel and is deeply concerned about their physical and emotional well-being.

“It would definitely be a burden for them to carry what is already heavy enough to keep their heads above water,” she said.

She said she was concerned things would get worse amid what she said was a “worrying developing health situation.”

A statement from the Hunter New England Area Health District said the COVID shutdown is likely to continue for several days.

“This is a changing situation and the service meets with a range of government and non-government agencies on a daily basis to see how to support them,” a spokesperson said.

“All confirmed cases will go to a quarantine hotel and the length of the lockdown (of the motel) will depend on whether the tests are repeated.

Alcohol, food and tobacco regimen

Motel management slipped a note under customers’ doors urging them to stay put.

“We wish to stress that you are not allowed to associate with other guests… this includes children,” the note said.

“You are not allowed to leave your motel room.

Management has been contacted for comment.

Housing officials said NSW Health was the lead agency overseeing the lockdown.

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Monitoring the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia(ABC News)

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