Western Australia has recorded no further Covid-19 cases after a security guard caught the UK strain of the virus and tested positive on Sunday, plunging much of the state into a five-day lockdown.
Premier Mark McGowan said there were 3,171 tests on Sunday – up from the normal 500 tests on Sundays.
Some 66 contacts of the guard have tested negative or will be tested later on Monday. Eleven ‘high-risk’ close contacts have been take into hotel quarantine as a precaution.
Shoppers queue in front of a shop in Maylands, Perth on Monday morning
Mr McGowan also announced that a G2G pass was being prepared for people who need to enter the Perth, Peel and south-west regions which are under lockdown until Friday.
The lockdown, affecting 80 per cent of the state’s population, sparked a wave of panic buying across packed supermarkets.
The news prompted South Australia to close its borders to WA without warning, along with Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory, and later the ACT.
The infected guard worked two 12-hour shifts on both January 26 and 27 while there were four cases at the hotel, including two with the highly-infectious UK variant and one confirmed to have the South African strain.
The news ended Western Australia’s 10-month coronavirus-free streak.
The infected guard was probably infectious for five days before he tested positive to Covid-19, authorities believe.
And during the time he was infectious, he visited 15 locations across Perth – including a Coles, KFC, hair dresser, halal grocery store and Indian consulate – leaving contact tracers in Western Australia scrambling to locate all potential contacts.
The security guard, who is aged in his 20s and from the inner-suburb of Maylands, became the first instance of community transmission in the state in 10 months when he tested positive to the virus on Saturday night.
The man was working at the Sheraton Four Points hotel, as a number of returned Australians or permanent residents were confirmed to have contracted the highly-infectious UK or South African Covid strain.
The guard worked two 12-hour shifts on January 26 and 27 on the same floor where there were four active Covid cases – including two with the highly contagious UK variant and one with the South African strain of the virus.
The man, who is aged in his 20s and from Maylands, was working as a security guard at Sheraton Four Points hotel
Health authorities have listed 15 venues, on top of Sheraton Four Points hotel, as potential exposure sites after they were visited by the security guard. Pictured: Map shows venues the positive Covid case visited
The man, who claims he was wearing PPE while working at the hotel, returned negative results as part of routine testing on January 15, 17 and 23 but started to become unwell last Thursday – January 28 – and called in sick for his shift that day.
Western Australia’s chief health officer Andy Robertson said the security guard was most likely infectious from January 26 – five days before his positive test result came through on Saturday night.
The man went to KFC, Coles, Chemist Warehouse and a Halal grocery store after falling ill.
He also visited Consulate general of India, Venus ladies and gentleman hair design and Perth Convention Centre while potentially infectious.
Health authorities have listed 15 venues as potential exposure sites after they were visited by the security guard.
Residents who visited any of the locations at specific dates and times have been told to get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE SITES
Anybody who visited one of the following locations must seek Covid testing immediately and self isolate until they receive a negative result:
Coles Maylands on January 25 between 8pm and 10pm and January 29 between 8pm and 9pm
KFC Maylands on January 27 between 6pm and midnight
Mitsubishi Motors in Midland on January 27 from 7pm to close
Spudshed, Coventry Village in Morley on January 27 from 8pm to midnight
ECU Joondalup on January 28 from 11am to 2pm
Consulate general of India in St Georges Terrace on January 28 at 5pm
Halal Grocery Store in Cloverdale on January 28 from 7pm to 9pm
Venus ladies and gentleman hair design in Maylands on January 29 between 1pm and 3pm
Perth Convention Centre on January 29 between 4pm and 6pm
Nedlands GP on January 29 between 5pm and 6pm
Chemist Warehouse North Perth on January 29 between 5.30pm and 7.30pm
7-Eleven Ascot petrol station on January 29 from 8pm to 9pm
Coles Express Shell Clovedale on January 30 between 12pm and 3pm
Puma Service Station in Burswood on January 30 from 11am until 12pm
Pharmacy 777 at Maylands Park shopping centre on January 30 from 2.30pm to 4pm
The venues are spread across the suburbs of Maylands, Midland, Morley, Cloverdale, Burswood, North Perth, Perth and Nedlands.
The man has a second job as a ride share driver but authorities said he had not worked in that role since January 22.
He has three housemates who have all tested negative to Covid-19. They have all been placed in hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Authorities are investigating the breach but say the guard did not enter a hotel room.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the coming days would be ‘quite critical’ as 60 close contacts of the security guard have been identified.
‘We call him case 903. This is a person who… we suspect has got the UK variant strain but that will be confirmed in the next 36 hours,’ Mr Dawson told 6PR Radio on Monday.
‘If he has that more transmissible (strain) then that’s what’s causing us the concern.’
Mr McGowan later confirmed the man had the UK strain.
Shoppers are seen outside Coles in Maylands, one of the potential exposure sites in Perth, on Sunday