Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings among new 'Tier-1' Covid sites

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·3-min read

A hotel quarantine worker in Melbourne visited more than a dozen locations including a Bunnings, two Kmart stores and both a Coles and Woolworths while unwittingly infectious with coronavirus.

The 26-year-old male worker, who was a support officer as part of quarantining those involved in the upcoming Australian Open, returned a negative test on his last shift on January 29 before Victoria’s Department of Health confirmed he had tested positive to Covid-19 late on Wednesday.

Between his shift and isolating, the worker visited 14 locations authorities have deemed exposure sites.

The front entrances of Kmart and Coles stores.
The infected security guard visited Kmart and Coles stores between his shift and going into isolation. Source: Getty Images

The Department of Health are calling them ‘Tier 1’ sites, with testing chief Jeroen Weimar saying anyone who visited them during the timeframes listed below must get tested and isolate for 14 days.

The 14 Covid exposure sites are:

  • Lululemon, DFO in Moorabbin from 5pm — 5.45pm on January 29

  • Woolworths in Springvale from 6.30pm — 7.30pm on January 29

  • Club Noble in Noble Park from 2.36pm — 3.30pm on January 30

  • Aces Sporting Club (Driving Range) in Keysborough from 10pm — 11.15pm on January 30

  • Northpoint Café in Brighton from 8.10am — 9.30am on January 31

  • Kmart in Keysborough from 4pm — 5pm on January 31

  • Kmart in Brandon Park from 4.35pm — 5.10pm on January 31

  • Coles in Springvale from 5pm — 6pm on January 31

  • Bunnings in Springvale from 11.30am — 12.15pm on February 1

  • Golf Academy in Heatherton from 5.19pm — 6.30pm on February 1

  • Nakama Workshop in Clayton South from 11.15am — 12pm on February 1

  • Sharetea in Springvale from 6.45pm — 7.30pm on February 1

  • Kebab Kingz in West Melbourne from 11.24pm — 00.15am on February 1

  • Exford Hotel in Melbourne from 11.00pm — 11.35pm on February 1

Due to the worker’s role in the program, up to 600 people linked to the Australian Open, including a raft of players, are now classified as casual contacts.

They will be forced to isolate until they get a negative result.

So far 20 of the worker’s close contacts have been put into isolation, with two testing negative so far, Mr Weimar said.

Quarantine needs urgent changes, leading expert warns

Premier Daniel Andrews said tackling airborne transmission inside quarantine facilities with the added complication of the highly-infectious strains arriving from overseas was “very challenging”.

“These mutant strains of this virus are an even greater challenge than all the things we faced during 2020,” he said on Thursday.

UNSW epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws said with a rise in spread within quarantine facilities, it was evident more testing needed to be done.

“[We] definitely [need] more rapid antigen testing between those on day two and day 10, so as soon as you find out somebody's positive, you move them into a dedicated hotel away from any negative travellers,” she told ABC News Breakfast.

On Wednesday health authorities said they believe the virus had escaped from one room of a family of five at a separate hotel when the door was opened, spreading to the nearby room of another returned traveller.

More to come.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.