A coronavirus alert has been issued for anyone who attended the Bathurst 1000 motor race on the weekend plus local residents after COVID-19 traces were found in the city’s sewage.

NSW Health is urging Bathurst residents and anyone who worked at or attended the race to get tested if they show even mild symptoms of the virus and to remain in isolation until a negative result is received.

“NSW Health is urgently undertaking investigations, which include reviewing lists of all those known to have had the virus who attended or worked at the race,” it said in a statement on Wednesday night.

The alert came as more virus restrictions were lifted in the state.

Easing restrictions at places of worship and gyms in NSW will aid the “body and soul”, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

Congregations up to 300 will be allowed at places of worship from Friday after religious leaders, including Hillsong pastor Brian Houston, complained about “inconsistent” restrictions.

Staffing at gyms will also be relaxed, with a COVID safety marshal only required when more than 20 people are working out.


“This is a great announcement for the body and the soul, so whatever you worship, there’s something for you in this one,” Mr Perrottet said on Wednesday.

Mr Houston had earlier on Wednesday said churches were being left behind as other COVID-19 restrictions eased, with 300 guests being allowed at weddings from December.

His Sydney mega-church has a 4000-person capacity, but services were restricted to just 100 people.

“(At) the grand final this week, 40,000 to 45,000 people (will be) hugging, shouting, spitting, high-fiving – it’s just the inconsistency of it,” Mr Houston told Sydney radio 2GB.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he was sorry if some religious leaders felt they were being ignored but he only heard of their concerns through the media.

Exemptions had been granted for a number of large churches, he said.


It comes as NSW has recorded two new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 – both linked to known clusters – while testing rates doubled overnight.

Almost 15,000 people heeded NSW Health’s plea for more people to get tested, compared with just 7401 in the previous 24 hours.

Eight cases were diagnosed in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.