Hotel quarantine security guard who almost sent Western Australia into a second lockdown ‘may have caught Covid from touching a luggage trolley’
- Guard at Perth’s Pan Pacific Hotel tested positive to coronavirus on Saturday
- Premier Mark McGowan said he may have become infected from luggage trolley
- His two roommates also tested positive prompting restrictions to be enforced
A security guard who caught coronavirus while working at a quarantine hotel may have got it from touching a luggage trolley.
The man aged in his 20s caught the US strain of the virus while working at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth and tested positive on Saturday.
Genomic testing indicates the guard has the same variant as the two guests who were staying on the same floor.
WA Premier Mark McGowan suggested he may have caught the virus from handling their luggage.
The man aged in his 20s caught the US-strain of the virus while working at the Pan Pacific Hotel and tested positive on Saturday
The guard’s two roommates also tested positive to Covid-19, prompting masks to be enforced both indoors and outside as well as banning fans from attending Sunday’s AFL Western Derby.
Mr McGowan said he was advised the guard was wearing gloves when he handled their luggage in a lift.
‘He was masked up, he was wearing PPE, all the precautions were in place, he entered the lift that they had been in, we know that, and he handled some luggage,’ he said.
‘We think that he may have handled their luggage. Was there transmission there? We can only speculate.’
The premier said 75 out of the 108 close contacts related to the hotel cluster returned negative tests.
A further 221 casual contacts out of 476 have also returned a negative result.
The guard, aged in his 20s, spent several days in the community after becoming infected. He’d worked at the hotel on April 24 and 26 before testing positive on Saturday (pictured health worker in Perth)
The rest are expected to be known soon.
Mr McGowan also stressed the safety measures taken in hotel quarantine were not lacking.
‘People wear gloves, they’re required to wash, they’re required to wear masks, they’re required to wear face shields,’ he said.
‘There’s not much more that we can do.’
Western Australia recorded its fourth day with no local cases on Wednesday.
The guard, aged in his 20s, spent several days in the community after becoming infected. He’d worked at the hotel on April 24 and 26 before testing positive on Saturday.
On his days off work from April 27 to 30, he moved through the community going shopping, seeing friends, and visiting Mirrabooka Mosque.
Restrictions had been in place in Perth and Peel following a snap three-day lockdown.
Premier Mark McGowan said the remaining restrictions in Perth and Peel, including a ban on crowds at major sporting events, were on track to be lifted
A full list of exposure sites is available on the HealthyWA website.
The guard and his seven housemates, two of whom also tested positive after working as food delivery drivers, were moved into hotel quarantine at the weekend.
Health advice suggested the risk of transmission was very low given the two delivery drivers were required to wear face masks and had minimal contact with customers.
Mr McGowan said he was advised the outbreak was not related to ventilation issues which had been detected in several other quarantine hotels.
The remaining restrictions in Perth and Peel, including a ban on crowds at major sporting events, were on track to be lifted by this weekend, the premier said.