Another hotel quarantine employee in Melbourne has tested positive for coronavirus – the second worker to do so in less than a week.
The positive test of the female worker at Melbourne Airport’s Holiday Inn on Sunday has left contact tracers scrambling to contain the latest leak from quarantine.
So far, 80 hotel quarantine staff, nine police officers and 12 Australian Defence Force members have been stood down.
Fifteen close contacts of the woman have also been identified and are isolating.
Among the venues the woman visited was a Dan Murphy’s in the western suburb of Sunshine.
Public health teams early on Monday morning also identified Marciano's Cakes in Maidstone and Off Ya Tree Watergardens in Taylors Lakes as other exposure sites.
She visited Dan Murphy’s on Friday between 5.50pm and 6.30pm, and Saturday between 6.50pm and 7.30pm.
She visited Marciano’s Cakes on Friday between 9.45am and 10.25am, and Off Ya Tree on Saturday between 1.17pm and 1.52pm.
The woman had tested negative following her Thursday shift, but returned to work on Sunday with symptoms and later tested positive.
Anyone who has attended the above venues at the specified times must “immediately isolate” for 14 days and seek testing.
Investigations into source underway
Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville, who is responsible for the quarantine program, said the woman's role consisted of issuing detention notices to international arrivals as they enter the hotel or are moved to another facility.
She did not work on the floor of the hotel.
"At this stage, when we had a look through just this person's engagement with people as they enter the hotel, as they exit the hotel, as they get moved to health hotels, it appears that there's no breach," Mr Neville said.
She said authorities are awaiting the results of genomic testing to see how the woman contracted the virus.
"We are also checking rosters and checking her movement through the hotel, whether there was any engagement with anyone who was positive" Ms Neville said.
Thousands of tennis fans had been expected to swarm Melbourne Park for the opening day of the Australian Open on Monday.
No new cases have been detected among a Grand Hyatt hotel quarantine worker’s close contacts since he tested positive on Wednesday.
The Grand Hyatt was one of three hotels used as part of the Open's quarantine program and the breach forced more than 500 tennis players and their entourage to isolate as casual contacts of the infected worker.
All eventually tested negative and were released.
NSW on high alert after positive case after quarantine
A health alert has been issued for a Sydney cafe and venues in the Illawarra after a returned traveller tested positive for Covid-19 following their 14-day quarantine period.
A cafe at Brighton Le Sands in Sydney’s south as well as shops, a hotel and a beach in Wollongong and the Illawarra are among the venues where the returned traveller visited last week.
NSW Health says anyone who visited the venues around the same time should get tested immediately and self-isolate.
The person tested positive on the 16th day after arriving home, having returned two negative tests during their 14-day quarantine period, the department said on Sunday night.
PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT
NSW Health is carrying out precautionary public health follow-up in relation to a returned overseas traveller who tested positive to #COVID19 on day 16 after being released from hotel quarantine on day 14. pic.twitter.com/K80tfzXVKP
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) February 7, 2021
“Test results indicate that the person has a low level of infection and their household contacts have returned negative results to date.
“Investigations to date suggest the infection was likely acquired overseas and there is no indication at this stage that there was transmission in the hotel quarantine setting.”
Close contacts of the case are in self-isolation and are not associated with the venues of concern, NSW Health said.
NSW has introduced non-compulsory “day 16” testing for overseas travellers in a bid to pick up cases that might develop at the tail end of the 14-day incubation period.
South Australia said it would consider adopting NSW’s approach while Victoria is also encouraging released returned travellers to take the extra test.
NSW exposure sites listed
NSW Health has asked anyone who visited the following venues at the times listed to get tested and self-isolate until they receive further advice:
Headlands Hotel; Headland Ave and Yuruga St, Austinmer; February 2, 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Bulli Beach Cafe; 68 Trinity Row, Bulli; Saturday, February 6, 1.30pm – 4.00pm
People who attended the following venues at the times listed are considered casual contacts, and NSW Health says they must get tested immediately and self-isolate until they get a negative result:
Mootch & Me; 313 Bay St, Brighton Le Sands; Tuesday, February 2, 10.54am – 12.00pm
Optus; 17 Flinders St, North Wollongong; Thursday, February 4, 1.00pm – 1.15pm
Officeworks; 145 Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow; Thursday, February 4, 3.45pm – 4.05pm, and Friday, February 6, 3:00pm – 3:25pm
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed are urged to monitor their symptoms:
Woolworths; 5-9 Molloy St, Bulli; Wednesday, February 3, 9.15am – 10.00am
Corrimal Memorial Park; Wilga St, Corrimal; Wednesday, February 3, 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Thirroul Beach; Wednesday, February 3, 3.00pm – 4.30pm
Sublime Point Walking Track; 661 Princes Highway, Madden Plains; Thursday, February 4, 8.30am – 10am
Figtree Grove Shopping Centre, in particular Australia Post, Kmart, Blooms The Chemist, Subway; 19 Princes Highway, Figtree; Thursday, February 4, 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Fedora Pasta Factory; 10 Daisy St, Fairy Meadow; Friday, February 5, 3.30pm – 3.35pm
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.