Earlier this week, a Victorian hotel quarantine worker who tested positive to COVID-19 recorded 17 close contacts that were tested upon tracing. Fortunately, all have come back with negative results, the Department of Health has confirmed.
That being said, the 26-year-old resident support office from Noble Park contracted the mutant UK strain of the virus is yet to be determined. In line with the measure, a stringent “detective work” is still underway.
On a brighter note, there has been no apparent breach in infection prevention and controls or PPE with the airborne transmission as the working theory thus far.
As per Professor Sutton, health authorities were “confident” the man’s case had not been contracted in the community. “We’re confident at the moment it’s not been picked up in the community – but from one of the residents in the hotel. 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.” He explained.
Still, given the risks, officials are combing through CCTV footage and piloting interviews in a bid to determine how the infection leaked through the quarantine system.
Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews raised the negative test results of the close contacts were good signs. In a statement earlier today he said, “Those he has spent the most time with during his most infectious period have all, to this point, come back negative. 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.”
Another silver lining saw no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus in Victoria, with three isolated in hotel quarantine, whilst a surge of 14,600 people came forwards for testing overnight. However, a further 8000 tests have been processed since midnight.
These figures mean that about 22,500 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, while 6000 tests are yet to be processed and so far, all test results have so far come back negative.
One factor cited helpful with the volume of testing is that 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.
This is of utter necessity, provided that a total of 14 exposure sites where the infected man attended have been listed on the Department of Health website. Thus, authorities have urged anyone who visited the sites during the specified dates and times must get tested and isolate for 14 days. As of now, almost 300 people have also been recognized from the exposure sites and now remain in self-isolation.
Jeroen Weimar, Victoria’s testing commander also noted 743 workplace contacts of the infected man would also be tested to ensure the virus has not spread throughout the quarantine system. This is amid the threats of a possible “third ring” of outbreak.
Amid the situation, the Australian Open is due to proceed as planned as Mr. Tiley insisted the tournament would go ahead.