A mother has successfully negotiated a transfer from her quarantine hotel after she woke in the middle of the night to find her bed allegedly crawling with bedbugs.
The woman, known only as Rosie, returned to Melbourne from the United States and was promptly housed inside the Rydges on Swanston to complete her mandatory 14 day quarantine.
But the hotel was allegedly so filthy she decided it wouldn’t be safe for her and her children to spend the next two weeks there and asked to be moved from the room.
Rosie attempted to give the room a quick wipe down when she arrived, urging her children not to touch anything.
She said the standard of the hotel ‘contradicts all the instructions issued by the government and we feel we are at risk here.’
This photo shows a bedbug on some white linen which is covered in smatterings of blood, which Rosie alleges she woke up to find
A member of the COVID-19 Cleansing Team wipes a window at a tram stop across the road from the Rydges on Swanston hotel in Melbourne
On the first night, the mother-of-three woke to find herself covered in small bites.
She turned on the light and claims her sheets and pillows were crawling with at least two dozen bedbugs.
In photos obtained by Herald Sun, a handful of dead bugs appeared on the white linen, which was stained with blood spatter.
Rosie told the publication she realised another bed in her room was also infested upon inspection.
Another family had also sought a transfer from the hotel, Rosie claimed.
An investigation into the matter has been launched, and officials are considering whether the bugs could have been brought into the hotel via luggage.
A spokeswoman for the hotel explained it was closed for weeks up until Friday for a deep clean after there was an outbreak among security guards
Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier demanded the hotel be shut pending an investigation.
A spokeswoman for the hotel explained it was closed for weeks up until Friday for a deep clean after there was an outbreak among security guards.
‘We know how infectious coronavirus is and we have strict measures in place to manage positive cases and control outbreaks,’ she said.
‘Following the outbreak at Rydges on Swanston the hotel was emptied on 1 June and underwent a deep clean of every room and common area in line with the Chief Health Officer Guidelines for coronavirus cleaning procedures.
Victoria is currently experiencing an uptick in coronavirus cases despite implementing some of the harshest lockdown measures in Australia.
Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier demanded the hotel be shut pending an investigation
Several clusters have centered around staff at quarantine hotels who caught the deadly respiratory virus before taking it home, mingling with family and friends and infecting their loved ones.
Of the new cases in Melbourne, 30 have been linked to hotel quarantine.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Dieman said last Friday it appeared some of the security guards were ‘mingling’ closer than they should have.
‘There’s been some closer mingling than we would have liked of these guards in the workplace,’ she said.
‘There’s a large cohort of security guards and workers and unfortunately it does appear that quite a few of them have worked for single or multiple days whilst infectious.’
She said the security guards had been trained in coronavirus protocol but other staff members reported social distancing breaches to the hotel management.
Victoria has been carrying out a testing blitz in ten suburbs across Melbourne – and warned they could lock neighbourhoods down if COVID-19 infection rates keep rising
Staff inside the Stamford Hotel in Melbourne wearing masks are seen moving luggage for guests in quarantine on June 25
The state recorded its biggest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases in almost three months on Sunday as 49 new cases were identified overnight.
Mr Andrews did not enforce mandatory testing for returned travellers, and as many as 5,000 people were allowed home after refusing a coronavirus test.
Mr Andrews, who was previously dubbed ‘Dictator Dan’ for his strict lockdown measures, was also criticised for failing to make sure people were self-isolating after 13 people who were supposed to be at home were caught flouting the rules in a single day.
Writing in the Herald Sun, controversial commentator Andrew Bolt said that the Victorian government failed to get tough on the one thing that mattered most.
‘It didn’t make sure that sick people were put in tight quarantine – and stayed there,’ he wrote.
Another point which indicated the Victorian government had ‘failed’ in its fight against coronavirus was addressed – and fixed – on Sunday during a press conference.
Lieutenant Commander Thomas Miller of the Royal Australian Navy (R) watches as members of the Australian Defence Force perform COVID-19 coronavirus tests on members of the public
This graphic shows the spike in cases within known coronavirus hot spots in and around Melbourne
The Victorian government allowed people to leave their hotel quarantine arrangements even if they refused to be tested for the virus.
On Sunday, Mr Andrews said they had changed the policy to limit the room for error.
Under the new rules, any returning traveller who does not consent to a test will be forced to stay in hotel quarantine for a further ten days.
The government said those in quarantine would be tested twice – first on day three and then again on day 11 of the 14-day quarantine period.
There were earlier expectations $1,600 fines would be introduced for quarantined travellers who refuse to get swab tested for the virus.
Mr Andrews said he wouldn’t rule out introducing fines for those who refuse tests in quarantine, but that a decision would be made on Tuesday when more results come in from the testing blitz.
VICTORIA’S SPIKE IN COVID-19 CASES
Source: Department of Health and Human Services
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced Victoria is implementing mandatory testing for all quarantined travellers as the state carries out a testing blitz in Melbourne’s suburbs amid a significant spike in COVID-19 cases
‘Anyone who does not consent to a test will not be able to leave hotel quarantine for a further ten days,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘There is also the opportunity open to us to fine anyone who does not agree to a test.
‘But everybody who is leaving today, from right now, if they don’t agree to a test, then they will be in our care for a total of 24 days – not 14 days.
‘It is my judgement that if it was simply a fine and nothing else, then there may be some people in hotel quarantine, people of means… who may well pay the fine in order to get out.’
Mr Andrews said those in hotel quarantine in the state are already being tested at a rate of between 80 to 85 per cent.
He added 780,000 tests had been conducted in Victoria since January 1 and a new less-invasive saliva testing would start from Sunday.
Previously, swabs were taken from the nasal passage and back of the throat.