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Victorian COVID case linked to Perth hotel

·3-min read

Some primary close contacts of a man who travelled to Melbourne from Perth while infected with COVID-19 have tested negative, state testing chief Jeroen Weimar says.

The man contracted the virus while in hotel quarantine in Perth and flew back to his family in Melbourne on Wednesday.

He was advised by Western Australian health authorities upon landing in Melbourne that he was a primary close contact to COVID cases in the hotel and went directly home to isolate and get tested.

He had tested negative to the virus throughout his quarantine period at Perth's Mercure Hotel and then moved freely in the city for five days before coming to Melbourne.

The Victorian health department has counted the case in its own tally because he tested positive in Melbourne, however it has not designated the infection as "locally acquired".

The latest update from Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton indicates the state's eight weeks of no community transmission is unbroken.

The man entered hotel quarantine in Melbourne on Thursday at his own request before receiving a positive test result on Friday morning.

Since arriving in Melbourne the man has had close contact with his spouse, his two children and a friend of one child.

They have been tested and are isolating.

"Some" of them have already returned negative test results, Mr Weimar told ABC radio Melbourne on Friday evening.

This includes at least one school-aged child, he said.

Passengers on the man's Perth to Melbourne flight QF778 are being instructed to isolate for 14 days and get tested.

Anyone in terminal one between 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday has been told to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Mr Weimar said anyone in Victoria who had been in Perth since April 17 when the man left hotel quarantine should get tested if they feel unwell.

Health Minister Martin Foley said the man was picked up from the airport by his spouse and went straight home.

"He did all of the right things, got his gear, went straight home, sat in the back seat, put his mask on all the way home and stayed separate from the rest of the members of his family," Mr Foley told reporters.

The man - who is asymptomatic - is isolating at The Holiday Inn on Flinders Street, which is a "health hotel" for international arrivals with COVID-19.

A total of three people have contracted the virus while staying at Perth's Mercure Hotel.

WA authorities confirmed through genomic testing that the virus spread in the corridor of the hotel from a couple who had returned from India.

Mr Foley said the man had stayed in an adjacent room to the couple, while a pregnant mother and her four-year-old daughter contracted the virus after staying in a room across the corridor.

Asked if he was confident the virus hadn't spread, Mr Foley replied: "It's still too early to say".

The health minister urged all eligible Victorians to get immunised, noting three extra vaccination hubs are being opened across the state.

From Friday, those eligible will be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and Sunshine Hospital sites. The Mercure Hotel in Ballarat will open its doors from Monday.

Mass vaccination sites at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Geelong's former Ford factory opened earlier this week to all Victorians who qualify under phase 1a or 1b of the vaccine rollout.

People aged over 50 will be able to receive AstraZeneca at the vaccination hubs from May 3 and GP clinics from May 17.

Some 5383 Victorians were vaccinated in the 24 hours to Friday morning.