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Melbourne hotel quarantine worker tests positive to coronavirus hours before Australian Open begins

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Australia’s east coast is on high alert for yet another coronavirus outbreak after two hotel quarantine breaches within hours of each other. 

A female employee at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport tested negative last Wednesday but developed symptoms after returning to work on Sunday and this time tested positive.

The case emerged less than 12 hours before the Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne this morning.

NSW Health authorities are also scrambling after a traveller tested positive two days after they were released from hotel quarantine in Sydney. 

The returned Australian had two negative tests and travelled home to Wollongong, stopping at a cafe in Sydney’s Brighton-Le-Sands on the way.

A hotel quarantine worker at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport (pictured) has tested positive to coronavirus

A hotel quarantine worker at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport (pictured) has tested positive to coronavirus

Melbourne venues 

Dan Murphy’s, 47 McIntyre Rd Sunshine, February 5, 5:50-6:30pm and February 6, 6:50-7:30pm 

Off Ya Tree Watergardens, 399 Melton Highway Taylors Lakes, February 6,  1:17-1:52pm

Marciano’s Cakes, 126 Mitchell St Maidstone, February 5, 9:45-10:25am

Once they arrived in Wollongong, they visited 10 other locations including a post office, busy shopping centre, and and Officeworks before having the positive test.

Victoria’s Department of Health said a full public health response was underway to trace every contact of the Melbourne worker.

‘We are contacting Holiday Inn Airport workers and others who are considered primary close contacts,’ the Department of Health and Human Services announced late Sunday night.

Close contacts who visited three locations the hotel worker went to were ordered to immediately get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.

The case visited Dan Murphy’s in Sunshine in Melbourne west twice within 24 hours on February 5 between 5.50pm and 6.30pm and February 6 between 6.50 and 7.30pm.

They also attended Off Ya Tree Watergardens clothing store in Taylor Lakes between 1.17pm and 1.52pm on Friday and were at Marciano’s Cakes in Maidstone between 9.45-10:25am.

Victoria health authorities are on alert after another hotel quarantine worker tested positive. Pictured are healthcare workers at a testing site in Brighton, Melbourne on Saturday

Victoria health authorities are on alert after another hotel quarantine worker tested positive. Pictured are healthcare workers at a testing site in Brighton, Melbourne on Saturday

The infected Holiday Inn employee visited Dan Murphy's Sunshine (pictured) in Melbourne's West twice within 24 hours

The infected Holiday Inn employee visited Dan Murphy’s Sunshine (pictured) in Melbourne’s West twice within 24 hours

Other potential exposure sites are being identified and will be published as soon as possible on the DHHS website

Testing capacity near exposure sites will be scaled up from Monday. 

The Australian Open was thrown into chaos last week after a quarantine hotel worker tested positive to what’s since been confirmed as the highly contagious UK strain of the virus.

Around 520 tennis stars, officials and support staff were identified as casual contacts of the 26-year-old man who worked at the Grand Hyatt hotel.

They all tested negative. 

Last week’s positive case ended Victoria’s 28-day streak of zero community transmissions.

Seventeen close contacts of the man have since returned negative results. 

The latest case in Melbourne comes hours before the Australian Open gets underway. Men's world number two Rafael Nadal (right) chats to coach Francisco Roig during a practice session at Melbourne Park on Sunday

The latest case in Melbourne comes hours before the Australian Open gets underway. Men’s world number two Rafael Nadal (right) chats to coach Francisco Roig during a practice session at Melbourne Park on Sunday

Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley remains hopeful of a crowd of up to 390,000 throughout the course of the Australian Open over next two weeks.

‘If we achieve that, it will be a very proud moment,’ he told 3AW on Friday.

Meanwhile in NSW, a returned traveller tested positive after they were released from hotel quarantine in Sydney.

The Australian from Wollongong tested negative twice during their 14-day quarantine but returned a positive test two days after being released.

NSW Health announced just hours earlier earlier that returned Australians would be tested again after leaving hotel quarantine to prevent exactly this scenario. 

An alert list was issued for 10 Wollongong venues and a cafe in Brighton Le Sands in Sydney’s south visited by the infected case following their release from quarantine. 

The infected case dined at the Mootch & Me cafe (pictured) in Brighton Le Sands between 10.54am- 12pm last Tuesday

The infected case dined at the Mootch & Me cafe (pictured) in Brighton Le Sands between 10.54am- 12pm last Tuesday 

Other venues included Thirroul Beach, a popular shopping centre in Figtree, an Optus store in North Wollongong, Woolworths in Bulli, a hotel in Austinmer and an Officeworks in Fairy Meadow visited twice in the space of 24 hours. 

NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases for a 21st consecutive day on Sunday, marking three weeks since a community transmission. 

The person did not have any symptoms but underwent testing as part of the new day-16 follow-up.

‘Test results indicate that the person has a low level of infection and their household contacts have returned negative results to date,’ NSW Health said late Sunday night.

‘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 not associated with venues were identified and are already in self-isolation.

NSW authorities are on high alert after a returned traveller tested positive days after being released from quarantine. Pictured  is a healthcare worker conducts tests in Bondi on Sunday

NSW authorities are on high alert after a returned traveller tested positive days after being released from quarantine. Pictured  is a healthcare worker conducts tests in Bondi on Sunday

Anyone who visited Headlands Hotel at Austinmer on February 2 between 1pm –3pm or the Bulli Beach Café on February 6, 1.30pm- 4pm should immediately get tested and self-isolate until further advice from NSW Health.

The case also dined at Mootch & Me in Brighton Le Sands on February 2, 10.54am- 12pm, attended Optus at North Wollongong – Optus on February 4, 1pm – 1.15pm and was at Officeworks Fairy Meadow on February 4, 3.45pm –4.05pm and returned the next day on Friday between 2:10pm and 3pm. 

Anyone who attended the venues at the times listed above is a casual contact who must get tested immediately and self-isolate until a negative result received and get tested again if any symptoms appear.

The infected case also visited Bulli Woolworths on February 3, 9.50am-10.50am before later heading to Corrimal Memorial Park for an hour before heading to Thirroul Beach later that afternoon.

The following day on Thursday, they attended a walking track at Madden Plains and several stores at Figtree Grove Shopping Centre, including Australia Post, Kmart, Blooms The Chemist and Subway.

They also briefly attended Fedora Pasta Factory in Fairy Meadow on Friday between 3.30pm and 3.35pm.

Anyone who visited the above venues at the listed times is urged to monitor for symptoms and get tested if they develop. 

The returned traveller also shopped at Woolworths Bulli (pictured) on February 3 between 9:50am and 10:50am

The returned traveller also shopped at Woolworths Bulli (pictured) on February 3 between 9:50am and 10:50am

Venues visited by infected case 

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed below should immediately get tested and self-isolate until further advice from NSW Health:

Austinmer – Headlands Hotel, Headland Avenue and Yuruga Street – Tuesday  February 2, 1pm – 3pm.

Bulli – Bulli Beach Café, 68 Trinity Row – Saturday February 6, 1.30pm – 4pm.

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed below is a casual contact who must get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative result. If any symptoms appear, get tested again.

Brighton Le Sands – Mootch & Me, 313 Bay Street, February 2, 10.54am – 12pm.

North Wollongong – Optus, 17 Flinders Street, February 4, 1pm – 1.15pm.

Fairy Meadow – Officeworks, 145 Princes Highway – February 4, 3.45pm –4.05pm and Friday February 5, 2:10pm – 3pm.

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed below should monitor for symptoms. If symptoms appear, please get tested:

Bulli – Woolworths, 5-9 Molloy Street – Wednesday February 3, 9:50am-10:50am.

Corrimal – Corrimal Memorial Park, Wilga Street, Corrimal – Wednesday February 3, 12pm – 1pm.

Thirroul – Thirroul Beach – February 3, 3pm – 4:30pm.

Madden Plains – Sublime Point Walking Track, 661 Princes Highway – Thursday February 4, 8.30am – 10am.

Figtree – Figtree Grove Shopping Centre, 19 Princes Highway, Thursday February 4, 2pm-3.30pm in particular these stores:

• Australia Post

• Kmart

• Blooms The Chemist

• Subway

Fairy Meadow – Fedora Pasta Factory, 10 Daisy Street – Friday February 5, 3.30pm – 3.35pm.

 Source: NSW Health

 

 

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