Australia Victoria records zero coronavirus infections as investigations continue into quarantine case
A year to forget — and remember. How COVID-19 infiltrated Australia
From day one on January 25 last year the coronavirus found every nook and cranny it could to divide and conquer.A Chinese national who had arrived in Melbourne on January 19 is the first person to test positive for a mysterious new coronavirus originating in the city of Wuhan, in central China. In the preceding days, China confirmed the virus could spread between people, a week after the World Health Organization suggested there was no evidence for this. The virus has begun to spread into Europe and the United States. By the end of the day, there are three positive cases in Sydney.
Victoria has not recorded any locally acquired COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, as investigations continue into how an Australian Open quarantine hotel worker acquired the virus.
There were also no new cases detected in hotel quarantine on Friday.
The results came from 23,227 tests processed, after the case saw testing sites flooded with residents during the week.
A 26-year-old Noble Park man who was working as a resident support officer at the Grand Hyatt quarantine hotel tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
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'.
He had earlier returned a negative test on his last day working at the hotel.
It followed news on Wednesday afternoon that.
All primary close contacts test negative
Genomic sequencing on Friday confirmed the worker, known as the UK strain.
By late last night, all of the man's 17 primary close contacts had returned negative tests. They are required to complete a 14-day quarantine period.
"I want to emphasise that they can still test positive in this incubation period. It is a highly transmissible virus, more transmissible than your standard coronavirus," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Friday.
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.
The Department of Health has a
Anyone who visited the sites at the specified times, located in Brighton, Brandon Park, Clayton South, Heatherton, Keysborough, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Noble Park, Springvale and West Melbourne, has to get tested and isolate for 14 days.
AMA says hotel airflow 'isn't up to the standards we expect'
Investigations are continuing into how the man acquired the virus, but authorities say they are confident it was at work and not in the community.
There were six coronavirus cases confirmed at the hotel, linked to a flight from Qatar to Melbourne, who were all moved to the Holiday Inn "health hotel" for quarantine and treatment.
The worker has been called a "model" employee who followed all infection control protocols, prompting health teams to investigate the potential of aerosol spread.
New local COVID-19 case in Victoria as thousands turn out to get tested
The infected Australian Open quarantine worker is the only local case of coronavirus diagnosed in Victoria overnight.Two more people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in hotel quarantine.
Emergency Services Minster Lisa Neville, who oversees the hotel quarantine program, has said all workers would likely be fit-tested with N95 masks in light of the transmission, instead of the surgical masks currently worn during daily tasks.
The Australian Medical Association's Victorian head said the State Government needed to seriously consider ways to improve ventilation systems in quarantine hotels to help stop cross-infection.
The concerns follow the recent coronavirus cases in returned travellers at the Park Royal hotel, where it appears the highly contagious UK variant of spread from one quarantine room to another.
AMA Victoria president Julian Rait said it would be better to use hotel quarantine facilities in remote locations, rather than city hotels.
"We think that perhaps they might be more suited given that the air exchange inside many inner-city hotels just isn't up to the standards we expect from our hospitals or indeed many other health facilities," he said.
Victoria reviewed the airflow and ventilation in all of its quarantine hotels before beginning its revamped quarantine scheme. It is again being reviewed in the wake of the virus's spread through a Brisbane quarantine hotel.
How COVID-19 jumped a corridor and the simple 'tweak' that can stop it
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.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced.
The capacity at the NT's Howard Springs facility, which uses standalone former workers' accommodation rather than hotel rooms, is set to be expanded.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the suggestion of developing another quarantine facility in Toowoomba in Queensland, saying the Government would continue to assess the proposal.
Tennis fans to wear masks when stadium roofs are closed
The Victorian Government has confirmed tennis fans will have to wear masks in stadiums at the Australian Open whenever the roof is closed.
In response to Wednesday's infection, masks are again mandatory in all indoor settings, the number of visitors allowed in homes has been halved to 15 and a plan to increase workplace caps has been paused.
"In the context of the Australian Open, when the roof is closed at its venues with retractable roofs, these venues are deemed to be indoor spaces under the restrictions and mask use is required by all spectators and officials," a government spokesperson said.
Tennis players on court will be exempt from these restrictions as they are engaged in "strenuous physical exercise".
More than 500 tennis players and support staff who had stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel were classed as casual contacts and had to isolate while they waited for a negative test result.
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