Argyle House 'devastated', closed until Christmas after Newcastle Omicron COVID-19 outbreak

ARGYLE House, the nightclub of the centre of NSW's soaring COVID-19 case numbers and Omicron outbreak, will stay shut until "after Christmas".

The popular Mid-North Coast night spot's operators had initially said they planned to re-open on Wednesday when the news of a likely Omicron exposure broke at the weekend.

More than 200 of 680 people who attended the venue's prom-themed event that has since been dubbed one of the world's worst super-spreading events this year have tested positive for COVID-19.

The surrounding Hunter New England health district recorded 424 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday alone.

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MUSIC STOPPED: Argyle House's operators have announced the venue will stay shut until "after Christmas" following the COVID-19 outbreak. Picture: Marina Neil

MUSIC STOPPED: Argyle House's operators have announced the venue will stay shut until "after Christmas" following the COVID-19 outbreak. Picture: Marina Neil

With genomic sequencing pending, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant has said they believe most of the cases to be the latest variant.

On the eve of that re-opening, the nightclub's operators posted a statement saying they had re-assessed.

"Closing is not an easy decision, but one that is made with the health and safety of our staff and patrons as the priority," the venue wrote on social media.

"Over the past two years, our venue and staff have been managing and working with the COVID-19 regulations. Like many, unprecedented shutdowns and restrictions have made it one of the most challenging times our business has had to go through.

"We are devastated that just as things were looking to return to a 'new normal', we have unknowingly been one of the transmission sites for this current wave of COVID infections."

The venue thanked police and health authorities for their support and efforts to contact trace since the "prom night" event that health authorities say preceded hundreds of fresh infections in the Hunter.

"An event like this shows the importance of QR check-ins which are checked by our staff before every entry, a practice we will continue with moving forward into 2022," the venue said.

"We love Newcastle, and we love our patrons. We are Newcastle people who love this city. We're heartbroken to see the effect this has had on so many individuals and businesses in Newcastle.

"We urge everyone to support local businesses through this time, there are plenty of wonderful people here who hustle everyday to provide a product or service, just like we do."

"We live in a great place and thank everyone who have reached out to us in support"

This story Nightclub at centre of NSW's Omicron outbreak shut until after Christmas first appeared on Newcastle Herald.