WA records a week of no new COVID-19 cases

WA records a week of no new COVID-19 cases

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) has warned the state is "not out of the woods yet" after recording a week of no new recorded COVID-19 infections.

"I'm pleased to say we've had zero new cases of COVID-19 overnight. That's now seven full days of cases which is amazing and incredible and terrific for our state, especially when we hear the news of the case numbers from New South Wales and Victoria," the Premier said.

Following 428 recoveries, WA now has just 14 active cases of which seven are in hospital.

NSW recorded nine new cases overnight while VIC reported 17, four of which were from the Cedar Meats processing facility cluster whose total cases now stand at 49.

South Australia is the only othe state or territory that has not seen any new cases in the past week; in fact SA has not had any new cases since 22 April.

Last week the ACT reported its number of active cases fell to zero for the first time since the pandemic began, but its run was cut short on Monday with one reported case from a return traveller. 

"This individual was symptomatic while overseas and then spent 14-days in self-quarantine after returning home. They were not tested during their self-quarantine period because their symptoms had resolved prior to their return to Australia," ACT Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said at the time.

The Northern Territory's long run of no new cases since 6 April was interrupted on Saturday, 2 May with two new positive tests. 

WA partners with resources companies to test FIFO workers

The WA State Government also announced today it is partnering with major resources companies and the state's leading researchers to roll out COVID-19 testing among fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining and resources workers who do not have symptoms.

The testing among FIFO workers is the second pillar of the DETECT program, a joint initiative of the Department of Health and the WA research community.

Led by Curtin University and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the DETECT FIFO project will engage with mining companies who are supporting the screening of workers for COVID-19.

It is expected that nearly 30,000 tests will be conducted during the life of the project.

The DETECT FIFO project will be funded by industry and has been endorsed by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.

While there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19, it is hoped the DETECT program will further assist in developing an even stronger evidence base on which to make policy decisions and ease restrictions.

"With our State COVID-19 numbers continuing to be very encouraging, we are pleased to announce that testing of asymptomatic groups in the community is expanding," says McGowan.

"Last week we announced our DETECT research program would commence with the testing of students and staff at 80 public schools, and now this study is being expanded to FIFO workers from some of our major mining companies.

"The research being undertaken through Curtin University has been carefully considered by the Chief Health Officer and it is hoped that the findings will benefit others in the mining and broader community."

Updated at 3:57pm AEST on 6 May 2020.

 

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