Confusion reigns as COVID hits the Hoey Moey

The popular beachside venue of the Hoey Moey is closed and undergoing a deep COVID clean according to NSW Health guidelines.


COVID-19 has reached the Coffs Coast with the whole venue of the Hoey Moey, 84 Ocean Parade, identified by NSW Health as an exposure site on July 15 from 15:55 to 16:20 pm.

Those in attendance at the Hoey Moey are considered a close contact and must get tested and isolate for fourteen days regardless of the result and call 1800 943 553 unless they have already been contacted by NSW Health.

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The news released by NSW Health late Tuesday evening comes after a week of confusing and conflicting information in the community.

Mid North Coast Local Health District Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said, “A man who worked at a construction site at Coffs Harbour last week, and tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Sydney, was considered to have been infectious for the final two days he was in the area.

“All people who worked at the construction site on Wednesday, 14 July and Thursday, 15 July have been declared close contacts.

“They have been tested and are isolating until 14 days after their exposure,’” he said.

“Two of the man’s work colleagues who travelled back to Sydney on Thursday night in the same vehicle, have subsequently tested positive.

“These two men have been deemed not to be infectious while in Coffs Harbour,” Mr Dowrick concluded.

Initially NSW Health had advised, at the start of the week, the whole venue of the Hoey Moey was considered an exposure site, then changed the advice to the Hoey Moey Bottleshop (Bottlemart) only before changing the advice back again to the whole of the venue of the Hoey Moey as the only confirmed exposure site in Coffs Harbour.

However, according to a statement released on Monday on social media by Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, the exposure sites started earlier, on 12 July from 17:30 to 18:00 at Woolworths Supermarket Park Beach Plaza, on July 13 from 17:00 to 17:20 at Big W Park Beach Plaza, again on July 13 at Woolworths Supermarket Park Beach Plaza and on Thursday July 15 at the Hoey Moey, 90 Ocean Parade Coffs Harbour, between 15:50 and 16:15.

In response, a statement released on Monday by Park Beach Plaza said, “As our priority continues to be the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, retailers, team members and broader community we are continuing our increased cleaning rosters with additional focus on specific areas we know customers are likely to have made contact with.

“In addition to deep cleaning undertaken today, we will be undertaking further full centre deep clean as a precaution.”

The statement finished with a reminder to follow NSW Government Health Orders and the following statement, “If you are from the Greater Sydney Area you are not permitted in regional New South Wales or in our shopping centre.”

The Hoey Moey has been closed for deep cleaning.and will be closed until further notice
Coffs Coast News of The Area spoke with the General Manager of the Park Beach Hotel Motel, Phil Caldicott, about receiving a text message from NSW Health early on Monday morning.

“Like the other people at the pub on Thursday at 3.30 and 4.15pm, I received a message through the contact tracing team at NSW Health to notify that someone who has tested positive for COVID was also in attendance.”

“I’m lined up to get tested for COVID as we speak,” he said.

Charlie Nalder, Director of the North Coast Hotel Group, said the company was in full compliance mode with NSW Health and was following their strict orders to the letter for the deep clean by fully equipped staff wearing complete Personal Protection Equipment.

As the news spread, hundreds of locals turned up to get tested at the COVID Testing Clinic on the Pacific Highway, many waiting for hours, with almost 4,200 tests conducted across the region in the past week.

The huge numbers of people waiting to get tested were assisted with roadside safety equipment and road traffic assistance officers.

Health officials were distributing water, hand sanitiser and sunscreen.

The testing site at 220 Pacific Highway is now closed and a drive through clinic at Cex Coffs International Stadium, Stadium Drive. Coffs Harbour opened on Tuesday. The clinic is open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 5pm on weekends.

Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) has thanked the community for coming forward in record numbers for COVID-19 testing, with more than 1,200 tests conducted in the region on Monday alone. Mr Dowrick encouraged people to remain vigilant for COVID-19 symptoms and to get tested for even the mildest of symptoms. Symptoms can include fever, cough, breathing difficulties, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. “We don’t want people to dismiss their symptoms as a cold, we want them to get tested to confirm it’s not COVID-19,” Mr Dowrick said.

All information is current at the time of going to print.


By Sandra MOON


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