Holiday Inn Covid outbreak grows to 13 with more cases confirmed

Brianne Tolj
·4-min read

Another two Covid-19 cases have been linked to Melbourne’s Holiday Inn Airport outbreak, bringing the total number of infections to 13.

On Thursday afternoon Victorian health officials broke the news that three more cases had been confirmed. Hours later, yet another two were added to the rapidly growing total.

“Two further individuals linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak have tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19),” Vic Health said in a statement late on Thursday.

“Both are household primary close contacts of previously announced cases. This brings the number of cases linked to this outbreak to 13.”

People waiting for coronavirus tests wearing masks.
Authorities have confirmed two new Covid-19 cases have been linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak. Source: AAP

The 13 confirmed cases include three workers, four primary household close contacts, two released guests and a family of three who contracted the virus overseas.

It is believed six of those cases were transmitted within the hotel, while all are presumed to have the mutant UK Covid variant.

Hotel shut down, guest’s device linked to outbreak

The Holiday Inn shut down on Wednesday for a “terminal clean”, including some extreme measures like “ripping up carpet and replacing it with vinyl”.

More than 135 hotel staff were stood down and told to get tested and isolate at home for 14 days, while 48 guests were moved to the Pullman Melbourne to quarantine for at least another three days.

Authorities suspect a nebuliser, which vaporises medications or liquids into a fine mist, may be to blame for the outbreak.

The medical device was not declared by one of the family members in quarantine, who has an underlying health condition and was taken to intensive care on Tuesday.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar said the guest would have been taken to a medi-hotel if they had reported it.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was possible everyone on that hotel floor had been exposed to the virus through the air and warned more cases would likely be unearthed.

The Holiday Inn outbreak has prompted health authorities to flag numerous possible infection sites.

New Covid-19 exposure sites

Visitors to the following venues at the specified times must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days:

Friday, February 5

  • PJ's Pet Warehouse, Sunbury, 3.37pm - 4.10pm

  • Bakers Delight, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.40pm - 4.15pm

  • Aldente Deli, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.45pm - 4.23pm

  • Sushi Sushi, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.53pm - 4.28pm

  • Asian Star, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.57pm - 4.30pm

Saturday, February 6

  • Cellarbrations, Sunbury, 6.17pm - 7.02pm

  • Sunny Life Massage, Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 4.30 - 6.30pm

Sunday, February 7

  • Cellarbrations, Sunbury, 5.44pm - 6.19pm

Tuesday, February 9

  • Commonwealth Bank, Glen Waverley, 1.30pm - 2.15pm

  • HSBC Bank, Glen Waverley, 2.15pm - 3.30pm

Visitors to the following venues at the specified times must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result:

Friday, February 5

  • Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, 3.40pm - 4.30pm

States close borders amid Melbourne outbreak

South Australia shut its borders to greater Melbourne at midnight on Wednesday.

Returning South Australians, people legitimately relocating to the state and those deemed “essential travellers” are exempt.

Tasmania has added several new ‘High-risk premises and locations’ in Melbourne.

Anyone who has travelled to the listed locations in the 14 days before travelling to the isolated state will not be permitted entry, unless they are an essential traveller.

Queenslanders are being warned to reconsider travelling to Melbourne as the state prepares to shut its border to travellers from the Victorian capital's coronavirus risk zones.

The Queensland government will bar entry to anyone who has been to Melbourne's Covid exposure sites from 1am on Saturday.

with AAP

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