A prominent Illawarra businessman has revealed he has tested positive to COVID-19 as part of the growing Sydney Thai Rock restaurant cluster.
According to a statement from the prestigious Cruising Yacht Club at Darling Point, Noel Cornish - who was also the head of Port Kembla Steelworks until 2011 - and his partner Meg found out yesterday that they had tested positive to the virus.
"They had sought testing after the NSW Government advised, on the evening of 26 July, that people who had attended the Thai Rock restaurant in Potts Point between 15 and 25 July seek testing," the club's commodore Paul Billingham said.
"Noel and Meg had eaten there on 17 July 2020 and, while not directly contacted by NSW Government, went straight off for testing."
"As many of you know, Noel and Meg are popular Members and frequent visitors to our Club and their prudence in quickly seeking testing was justified when the positive result was received."
Mr Billingham said the club - which is home to the Sydney to Hobart yacht race - had been immediately closed for deep cleaning, and all team members were tested and self-isolated until the results of that testing is known.
"The good news is that Noel and Meg are fine but, of course, will be housebound for at least 14 days or until they are cleared," he said.
"The Club will remain closed until Saturday 1 August at the earliest and, subject to the advice of NSW Health, assuming there are no other infections, the club may well then reopen - we are not the first venue to have this type of brush with the virus and we will not be the last."
As well as being the former head of Port Kembla's steelworks, Mr Cornish has been the National President of the Ai Group, and is a former Deputy Chancellor of the University of Wollongong.
He remains connected to the university through his role as a board member. He has also been also a chairman of the Snowy Hydro Ltd, the IMB Bank and a director of Forest Corp NSW.
In 2017, he was recognised as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to business tertiary education administration and the community.
Mr Cornish was a long time resident of Wollongong's northern suburbs. However, his Sydney-acquired case has not been added to the Illawarra Shoalhaven health district case tally.
According to NSW Health, the two new Thai Rock Potts Point cases were among 19 new cases of COVID-19 found in NSW in 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.
Two were found in overseas travellers, and the rest, NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said, were linked to exisiting venue clusters throughout Sydney.
Three were linked to Bankstown's funeral gathering cluster, 10 were linked to Thai Rock in Wetherill Park.
Another staff member at the Apollo restaurant in Potts Point tested positive to the virus and one more case was linked to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula.