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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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