FREE

Batemans Bay Soldiers Club staff await tests

Gowned medical staff prepare to test people at Hanging Rock car park. Photo: Stuart Thomson.
Gowned medical staff prepare to test people at Hanging Rock car park. Photo: Stuart Thomson.

Batemans Bay Soldiers Club staff are among those queuing for COVID-19 tests after a cluster of infections was linked to the venue.

Club CEO Paul Biddlestone said many of the 100 or so staff there last week had been tested, but others were in the queue.

A staff member is so far the only Eurobodalla Shire resident included in the cluster of eight who have tested positive.

Mr Biddlestone said many had returned negative results, however, some remained stuck in long queues as shire residents flocked to be tested.

"There are a few of us who have been stuck in queues and turned around," Mr Biddlestone said.

On Monday, July 20, the car parks at Hanging Rock were packed with people waiting in their cars to be tested at the pop-up clinic and about 100 people were queuing on the footpath outside Moruya Hospital.

Queues along the footpath outside Moruya Hospital. Photo: Stuart Thomson.

Queues along the footpath outside Moruya Hospital. Photo: Stuart Thomson.

Many of those at Hanging Rock had been waiting several hours and said very little information had been provided.

Fearing they would not be tested, some had left intending to return on Tuesday.

A Tomakin woman said she and her partner were turned away from the Hanging Rock testing clinic at 10am. At 2.30pm, she said she had been in the queue at the Moruya testing clinic for 3.5 hours.

Despite the queues, Mr Biddlestone has urged anyone at the club on July 13, 15, 16 or 17 to self-isolate and be tested as quickly as possible.

The club was closed for two weeks from Friday, July 17 after two patrons tested positive.

A Sydney father and son who dined at the club on Monday, July 13, tested positive after they returned home the following Wednesday. Two other family members and a close contact have since tested positive along with two other diners, bringing the total of positive tests associated with the club to eight.

"If you have been in the club on those days, please isolate and get tested," Mr Biddlestone said on Monday, July 20.

After six years at the club, Mr Biddlestone said he was "deeply heartbroken".

"Everyone has put in an amazing amount of work to get us open and to maintain a clean environment," he said.

He said health authorities did not tell the club to close when Friday night's results were revealed, but the club made the decision to close initially for several days.

Now, with all staff and patrons urged to isolate, the club has closed for two weeks.

This story Batemans Bay Soldiers Club staff queue for COVID-19 tests first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

Comments