WA lockdown begins after local COVID-19 case, NSW-Qld border blockades removed, Captain Tom Moore contracts COVID31st January 2021
“We put in place the saliva testing as quickly as we could using the health department and appropriate protocols, unfortunately, it didn’t start until late this week,” he said.
A Perth security guard contracted COVID-19 while working at the Sheraton Four Points quarantine hotel in the CBD sometime in the past week, health officials believe.
The last time the guard was tested under the old regime was January 23 despite working his last hotel quarantine shift on January 27.
It wasn’t until he started developing symptoms that he got tested again and the results came back at midnight on Saturday.
WA’s Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson said the guard became symptomatic on January 28 and was infectious from January 26, which means he spent six days in public potentially spreading the virus.
On January 13 the health department said daily saliva tests would start “as soon as possible”.
Australian Medical Association WA president Dr Andrew Miller has lashed the state government for not introducing daily testing sooner.
“He was working in a system which I believe did not provide him with the appropriate PPE to protect him from the virus, did not provide him with adequate ventilation and therefore I think also he was not getting the daily testing,” he said.
“Daily testing only started on Friday and we all know it’s now one year since coronavirus first visited Australia, this is happening too late.”
Dr Miller also criticised the state for continuing to allow hotel quarantine workers to work second jobs when it was revealed the security guard also worked as a rideshare driver, though Mr McGowan said he had not driven for the company since becoming infectious.
“People working in quarantine facilities need to be on contracts that pay them sufficiently and put in place sufficient prohibition that prevent them from working other places,” he said.
This sounds all too familiar for Victorians who endured a catastrophic second coronavirus wave after hotel quarantine security guards contracted the virus and spread it throughout the community.
The final report of the Victorian COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry set out new guidelines for the state’s hotel quarantine system. Hotel quarantine in Victoria is now operated by a single designated government agency with a clear chain of political accountability to a single responsible minister. Those involved must not work in other jobs. And there is no contracting out.