WRONG Sydney pub listed as Covid exposure site: People mistakenly forced to isolate, while possibly contagious ones roamed free

WRONG Sydney pub listed as Covid exposure site: People mistakenly forced to isolate, while possibly contagious ones roamed free

Australian health authorities accidentally placed a Sydney pub on a Covid-19 exposure alert list, mixing it up with another establishment of a similar name. The blunder was noticed and fixed almost a day later.

The New South Wales Health Ministry issued a new coronavirus alert overnight, providing a list of venues where visitors may have been exposed to coronavirus.
The notice is a warning to get tested for the disease and to isolate immediately for 14 days regardless of the test results for both the visitors and their families.

It listed the Crossroads Hotel, a local pub in Casula, southwest Sydney among the affected premises.

⚠️PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT – FURTHER VENUES⚠️

NSW Health has been notified of additional venues across Sydney visited by confirmed cases of #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/mtaWk5DpuY

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) June 26, 2021

Nearly a day later, however, the health authority issued a correction, stating it actually meant the Crossways Hotel, an entirely different pub located some 25km from the original location.

PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT – VENUE OF CONCERN CORRECTION pic.twitter.com/VBsiCOcbIq

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) June 27, 2021

The blunder attracted some criticism towards the health ministry, with many blasting it for the false alarm, which apparently sent multiple people into isolation – while individuals who may actually have been exposed to coronavirus roamed freely.

How many people got whom attended the Crossroads in Casula got tested because you screwed up? Please be more careful we cannot afford to have these mistakes. That’s several days the people who needed to be tested didn’t get tested. Do better!

— SnapBackAU (@SnapBackAU) June 27, 2021

Others pointed out that it was not the first time the authority provided misleading information to the public about Covid-19.

C’mon guys seriously we have to get better, this isn’t a once off pic.twitter.com/LT6VDTKLIB

— Chris Whelan (@cjwhelan) June 27, 2021

Some, however, were more tolerant of the mistake, saying they understood the strain that health ministry workers had endured during their coronavirus contact-tracing work.

If they’re over-worked and over-stressed with the workload they should have locked down sooner and hired more staff so as not to make simple mistakes because everyone is working so hard that they’re burnt out and making potential life and death mistakes.

— SnapBackAU (@SnapBackAU) June 27, 2021

To be fair, the two establishments involved in the blunder have similar names – and are even located in the same southwest Sydney area – making them easy to mix up. Moreover, the Crossroads Hotel was actually a coronavirus hotspot at one point about a year ago. Last July, the pub was the subject of a large Covid-19 cluster, with more than 50 infections that forced thousands into isolation.

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