WA coronavirus transmission reported in hotel quarantine after man infected by guest in next door room – ABC News

by health and nutrition advice journalist

Another person has been infected with COVID-19 while staying in a Perth quarantine hotel and authorities are urgently investigating how it took place.

Key points:

The Health Department confirmed the virus was transmitted between two guests in neighbouring rooms at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Genome sequencing data confirmed they had the same sequence of virus.

It is not yet known how transmission occurred.

Victoria is currently in a seven-day lockdown linked to a man who caught coronavirus while in hotel quarantine in Adelaide but did not test positive to the virus until he returned to Victoria.

WA’s chief health officer Andrew Robertson said a man flew into Perth from Colombia via the US on May 21 and was accommodated at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

On May 23 he was found to be positive.

A man in the room next door had arrived in Perth on May 16 and had tested negative to COVID-19 twice before he tested positive on his day 13 test.

The Pan Pacific Hotel had previously advised WA Health that its rooms were “negative pressure”.

Rooms at end of corridor

Deputy chief health officer Robyn Lawrence said the men had been in rooms at the end of a corridor.

She said recent cases of transmission in hotels elsewhere in the country had also occurred in guests staying at the end of corridors.

Headshot of a woman in front of microphones.

ABC News: Eliza Laschon

Last Friday, a decision was made not to house returned travellers in such rooms in the future.

Dr Lawrence said most of the other people on that floor of the Pan Pacific Hotel were in rooms “quite a distance” from the infected men, so it was deemed safe for them to leave on completion of their 14-day quarantine periods.

“They’re being followed up daily, with Public Health calling them every day to make sure they are not developing any symptoms,” she said.

WA COVID-19 snapshot

Confirmed cases so far: 1,019

Total tests: 1,196,796

“There’s a couple that are maritime workers and a decision was made that it would be inappropriate for them to go out onto a vessel.”

“They all remain in Western Australia so we are quite confident that we’ve got daily contact with them and a good relationship, and that it’s safe at this point in time.”

Another family of three who were in a room closer to the infected men, diagonally across the hall, remained in the hotel as their quarantine period was yet to finish.

Dr Lawrence said it would be reassessed closer to the completion of their 14 days of quarantine whether they could be released, but in the meantime they had been moved to a different room.

She said the Public Health team had taken immediate action to ensure the infection was not spreading further within the hotel, including additional precautionary testing of guests.

The test results of security guards on the floor in question would also be reviewed.

There were 12 people in other rooms on the same floor who were not near to the infected person,  and they were all symptom-free and had tested negative on Day 13 of their quarantine.

Those people would be tested again on days three and seven after leaving hotel quarantine.

April lockdown caused by hotel breach

In April, Perth was plunged into a short lockdown after transmission within the Mercure Hotel in Perth.

The Pan Pacific hotel in Perth. A low angle looking at the north-west coroner of the white building.

ABC News: James Carmody

The man worked on the same floor as two returned travellers infected with COVID-19 and visited several venues in Perth’s northern-suburbs before testing positive himself.

At the time, Health Officials said it was fortunate restrictions were already in place in Perth.

In January, a security guard at Perth’s Four Point Sheraton hotel was also infected with COVID-19 and triggered a five-day lockdown in parts of the state.

This content was originally published here.

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