28 July 2020

Potts Point on alert as two restaurants linked to COVID-19

Communicable Disease COVID-19 Live blog

Welcome to The Medical Republic‘s COVID Catch-Up.

It’s the day’s COVID-19 news into one convenient post. Got any tips, comments or feedback? Email me at [email protected]

28 July

  • Getting sniffed by a cuddly dog is a far more appealing prospect than having a swab inserted up your nose, and thanks to new research, dogs might be coming to a COVID-19 testing site near you.
    Well, OK, maybe not soon, but we can hope. The study in question, published in BMC Infectious Diseases, trained eight detection dogs to pick up the scent of SARS-CoV-2 then tested their noses on more than 1000 samples taken from patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 and those who tested negative. The dogs came back with an overall diagnostic sensitivity (the rate of ‘true’ positives) of around 82%, and specificity (the rate of ‘true’ negatives) of 96%. The current gold standard RT-PCR test has a false-positive rate of around 2% to nearly 7%, which puts it on par with the dogs’ specificity.
  • The entire inner-city Sydney suburb of Potts Point is on alert after two restaurants have been linked to cases of COVID-19. NSW Health has asked anyone who lives in or has visited the area in the past two weeks to get tested if they show any symptoms.
    In particular, anyone who dined at The Apollo restaurant in Potts Point between 23-25 July has been asked to quarantine for 14 days, and get tested if they show any symptoms. In Mt Pritchard in Sydney’s south-west, patrons and staff who visited Mounties on the 23-25 July, or the bistro of Pritchard’s Hotel on the 23 July, are advised to get test if they develop symptoms, but also to isolate for two weeks.
    Victorians who have to self-isolate while waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test may be eligible for a $300 ‘test isolation payment’. Those who have to self-isolate or quarantine at home following a positive result, because they are a close contact of an infected case or are the parent or guardian of a child who has to self-isolate may be eligible for a $1500 worker support payment. Details are here.
    Here are the confirmed COVID-19 infection numbers around Australia to 9pm Monday:
    National – 14,395, with 161 deaths and 259 hospitalised.
    ACT – 113
    NSW – 3685
    NT – 31
    QLD – 1076
    SA – 447
    TAS – 229
    VIC – 8696
    WA – 658
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