Australia Melbourne quarantine worker confirmed to have UK virus strain
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Victoria's hotel quarantine workerhas the mutant UK strain of the virus, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton has confirmed.
But how the 26-year-old resident support officer from Noble Park contracted the virus is yet to be determined, with stringent "detective work" still underway.
There has been no apparent breach in infection prevention and controls or PPE, with airborne transmission the working theory at this stage.
Professor Sutton said health authorities were "confident" the man's case had not been contracted in the community.
Claims hotel quarantine security guards in WA are foreign students
An insider has blasted Western Australia's hotel quarantine system and accused security companies of hiring and exploiting foreign students. The source claimed guards were paid minimum wage in cash and off the books so they could work double the 20 hours allowed under their visa arrangements. It was also alleged that hotel security guards were sharing IDs so they could get away with working a second job such as driving for Uber. The insider told The West the security services in the state were run by a 'bunch of cowboys'.
"We're confident at the moment it's not been picked up in the community - but from one of the residents in the hotel," he said.
"It is a more transmissible variant of concern.
"We've always worked on the assumption that it was going to be this variant. That's because four of the six residents who'd tested positive at the hotel had that variant identified in them.
"Where exactly it's come from is still to be determined."
Officials are combing through CCTV footage and conducting interviews to determine how the infection leaked through the quarantine system.
In positive news, Victoria recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 today, with three in hotel quarantine.
Infected hotel quarantine guard 'should have had access to PPE'
Infected hotel quarantine guard 'should have had access to PPE'Australian Medical Association President Andrew Miller commended how the security guard at the centre of the lockdown has handled himself, but believes he wouldn't have caught the infectious UK coronavirus strain if he had better protection.
Premier Daniel Andrews said 16 out of the quarantine worker's 17 close contacts had all returned negative test results.
The last remaining test result is still in the laboratory, but the premier said the results were "very good signs".
"Those he has spent the most time with during his most infectious period have all, to this point, come back negative," Mr Andrews said.
"It doesn't mean that they might not test positive at a later point and that's why them completing the isolation and doing as we've asked them to do is so important.
"But these are good signs ... that we caught this in good time. We've spared no effort to run this to ground.
"Whilst there's still days that will be relevant to us, tomorrow is not over yet, these are in some respects the very best outcomes we could have hoped for."
What we know about Victoria's new COVID-19 hotel quarantine cases
Victorian authorities are investigating a positive case of COVID-19 in a hotel worker as well as the spread of the virus from one quarantine room to another. Here's what we know so far.Late on Wednesday night the Department of Health and Human Services announced a 26-year-old Australian Open quarantine support worker had returned a positive test result after working at the Grand Hyatt.
Testing numbers soar
More than 14,600 people were tested for COVID-19 overnight, however a further 8000 tests have been processed since midnight.
The additional tests mean about 22,500 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, while 6000 tests are yet to be processed.
All test results have so far come back negative.
"It was a very big testing 24 hours," Mr Andrews said.
Video: No new local cases of COVID-19 reported overnight (ABC NEWS)
"I'm very pleased to say that they've all been negative. That is exactly the outcome that we were after. Big community response and no new positive cases."
Hundreds of people have lined up at testing sites around the city early this morning, as officials continue to urge Victorians to get tested.
Yesterday demand was so high some people were waiting up to four-and-a-half hours to get tested, with some sites being forced to close early after reaching capacity.
SA to remain open to Victoria
Premier Steven Marhsall has decided against closing the Victorian border, but COVID-19 testing requirements will be ramped up.It is Australia's second quarantine breach in less than a week, coming just days after a Western Australian hotel security guard contracted the highly infectious UK strain, forcing greater Perth into lockdown and prompting border closures.
Five additional testing sites were set up yesterday and another site at the Dendy Public Golf Course in Brighton is due to open today to meet demand.
A total of 14 exposure sites where the infected man attended have been listed on the.
Anyone who visited the sites during the specified dates and times must get tested and isolate for 14 days.
Nearly 300 people have also been identified from the exposure sites and remain in self-isolation.
Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar said 743 workplace contacts of the infected man would also be tested to ensure the virus has not spread throughout the quarantine system.
"It is very important that we get hold of those workplace contacts and ensure that we really establish whether there's any other leakage from that hotel quarantine period into that workforce," he said.
The workforce were already being tested daily as part of the quarantine program, Mr Weimar said.
Australian Open cohort so far test negative
Meanwhile, the Australian Open contingent who were undertaking quarantine at the Grant Hyatt hotel have so far.
Mr Weimar said the state's "third ring" of outbreak management was the more than 500 players and staff who were undertaking quarantine at the Grand Hyatt.
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The mutant Covid strain wreaking havoc on the UK is thought to have spread between two families in Victoria's hotel quarantine, despite them being in different rooms. An urgent investigation is now underway after the same mutant strain variant spread from one group to another on the same floor of the Park Royal hotel.The travellers have since been moved to the Alfred Health Hotel to isolate.A woman in her 60s tested positive for the UK strain after a family of five tested positive just three days earlier.The family was staying in the room opposite the woman on the same floor.
"They've all tested negative. Results will come through over the course of the night and during today," he said.
"As those negative results come through they will be released on the basis they've been very tightly contained within the hotel quarantine system."
Tennis Australia CEO
"So far everyone is negative," Mr Tiley said.
The Australian Open is due to proceed as planned on Monday, as.
Matches will resume at Melbourne Park today after yesterday's practice games were scrapped.
Hotel worker worked with people who attended 'staff party'
The 26-year-old infected man had worked with people who attended a staff party put on by COVID Quarantine Victoria (CQV), sparking concern of possible tranmission.
Around 60 team leaders, site and general managers gathered to celebrate the end of the Australian Open quarantine at the View Hotel on St Kilda Road on Sunday.
It was organised by CQV as a thank you to staff for their work.
The 26-year-old who most likely became infected at the Grand Hyatt did not attend the outdoor function – but people he worked with did.
While no rules have been broken, it is cause for concern as the state scrambles to
The 26-year-old man is also awhile possibly infected.
The premier said brigades had been contacted and deep-cleaning undertaken.
Coronavirus infections in hotel quarantine workers makes it 'wrong time' to increase international arrivals, epidemiologist warns .
Hotel quarantine workers should be at the front of the queue for vaccinations, a Melbourne epidemiologist says, and Australia should not be letting more people into the country until vaccinations are complete.Nancy Baxter, who is the head of the School of Population at the University of Melbourne, said coronavirus was becoming more infectious and a Melbourne hotel quarantine worker's positive test on the weekend was cause for concern.