Victorian resident tests positive to COVID-19 a week after leaving hotel quarantine in SA

Victorian resident tests positive to COVID-19 a week after leaving hotel quarantine in SA

UPDATE (4.02pm AEST, 11 May 2021): Victorian health authorities have since published a list of exposure sites visited by the latest COVID-19 case. Click here to read more.

A returned traveller who undertook hotel quarantine in South Australia has today tested positive to COVID-19, a week after getting back home to the Melbourne suburb of Wollert.

The man in his 30s arrived in Melbourne on 4 May, developed symptoms four days later and got tested yesterday, returning a positive result this morning.

Contact tracing is underway along with the verification of exposure sites, which will be published once they are confirmed.

"The individual who was tested positive is isolating at home. His household primary close contacts are also isolating, being interviewed, and will be urgently tested," the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) said in an update today.

"The Department is working with interstate counterparts to determine the likely source of this infection.

"If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 - such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills or sweats, or change in sense of smell or taste - get a test immediately."

South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier has confirmed an interjurisdictional outbreak investigation is underway, noting the individual concerned tested negative to COVID-19 on days 1, 5, 9 and 13 during his stay.

As the infectious period tends to be two days before symptoms develop, Spurrier says it does not look as if the man was symptomatic while in the Adelaide community.

"What we do know is this man, this new case in Victoria, was at the Playford Medihotel alongside another traveller who was one of our cases," she says.

That person who tested positive in hotel quarantine was then transferred to the dedicated COVID-positive facility Tom's Court Hotel.

"It is possible that after that man was released that there was some form of transmission of the virus," she says.

"It's very evident now that COVID can be transferred through aerosols and that these droplets may hang around in the air for a period of time."

South Australian authorities are now investigating the potential for transmission via hotel room ventilation as well as passageways, and will compare genomic testing results between the two COVID-positive cases.

"Be as that may, this is at this point in time a hypothesis," she says, noting it is also possible that the person was exposed to the coronavirus before arriving in Australia.

She added CCTV footage showed no evidence of breaches of protocol.

Updated at 2:15pm AEST on 11 May 2021.

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