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Australia Victorian hotel quarantine guests contacted over possible infection risk through use of blood glucose monitor

11:20  19 october  2020
11:20  19 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The nurse says guests at some hotels were allowed out for half-hour smoking breaks because they Guests in some hotels also communicated through Facebook groups, she said, discussing how to The state-run hotel quarantine system used private security guards to watch over returned travellers.

The inquiry set up to examine hotel quarantine errors that could have led to "every case" of Victoria is the only state where health authorities have linked recent outbreaks back to breaches in its hotel quarantine system. Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne. Wilson Security. United Risk Management.

a tall building: Over 200 people who were in hotel quarantine are being contacted by Safer Care Victoria. (ABC News: Daniel Fermer) © Provided by ABC Health Over 200 people who were in hotel quarantine are being contacted by Safer Care Victoria. (ABC News: Daniel Fermer)

A Victorian government agency is contacting 243 people who had their blood glucose levels tested while they were in hotel quarantine, over concerns about the "potential risk of cross-contamination and infection" through the use of blood glucose monitors.

Blood glucose testing devices are intended for use by one person multiple times.

However, the monitors were used to test the blood of a number of different people who were in hotel quarantine between March 29 and August 20.

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A contract between the Victorian Government and one of the security companies hired for hotel quarantine shows it was the company's responsibility to ensure guards undertook infection control training and wore personal protective equipment at all times. Key points

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

The needles can be changed between each use but the body of the device can retain microscopic amounts of blood, said Safer Care Victoria, the state's healthcare quality and safety agency.

"This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and bloodborne viruses — hepatitis B and C, and HIV," the agency said.

To reassure those affected, confidential testing was being arranged.

People are being contacted on the basis of their health records.

Anyone who had a condition or episode that may have required a test are also being contacted.

Fingerprick tests are routinely used by people with diabetes. Those people would probably have their own device and would not have used one provided in quarantine.

However, the test may have been used on pregnant women, people who fainted or anyone who was generally unwell, Safer Care Victoria said.

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Victoria 's hotel quarantine inquiry has heard 99 per cent of the state's active COVID-19 cases emanate from infection control breaches in the program. Mr Ashford told the inquiry that he was given a 10-minute handover before the start of his first shift as an authorised officer and a "draft document"

Guidelines for preventing infections during blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration. Whenever possible , blood glucose meters should not be shared. If they must be shared, the An underappreciated risk of blood glucose testing is the opportunity for exposure to bloodborne viruses

The agency has said there was no risk to anyone who did not have a blood glucose test, nor was there any risk to anyone who used their own device.

Coronavirus is not spread by blood so there was no risk that the test could have spread the illness.

Agency investigating how breach occurred

The agency will examine how the breach happened.

"The health of past quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so arranging screening for them is our absolute priority," said Ann Maree Keenan, the acting CEO of Safer Care Victoria.

"The clinical risk is low.

"Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use.

Victoria's hotel quarantine program has been scrutinised by an independent inquiry, which is holding an extraordinary hearing on Tuesday.

The failed program is widely regarded as having seeded the second wave of coronavirus in Victoria.

It comes as phone records from the Premier, Daniel Andrews, and his staffers were provided to the inquiry and after emails revealed Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton had acknowledged correspondence referencing the use of private security in hotel quarantine months earlier than he originally told the inquiry.

Scott Morrison slams Daniel Andrews for keeping Victoria locked down .
Despite the current average sitting at 4.6 new cases a day, the premier said he could not open up until the results of at least 1000 tests from the northern metropolitan outbreak were known. 'I know it is frustrating,' Mr Andrews said on Sunday. 'I know people are keen to have a long and detailed list of changes to the rules. It is not appropriate for us to do that now.'Mr Andrews said that if there is not a spike from the results of those remaining tests, the government will push ahead with a November 1 reopening as they had planned.

usr: 9
This is interesting!