COVID in WA: Five new cases linked to The Library Nightclub as virus spreads to the WA court system
Five new COVID cases have been announced in connection with a late night party at The Library Nightclub that health authorities now fear may be a superspreader event.
All of the new infections – which were only diagnosed on Friday and are in addition to the nine announced earlier on Friday afternoon – attended The Club Bootylicious event at the popular Northbridge nightspot on Saturday night.
Anyone that was at that event is now being urgently requested to immediately get tested and then isolate until they receive a negative result.
It comes as The West Australian can confirm COVID has also struck the WA court system, temporarily forcing a magistrate into isolation while they waited to be cleared of the virus.
An accused person appearing at Perth Magistrates Court on January 20 – in Court 57 – subsequently tested positive to COVID-19.
The accused was not in custody, meaning they posed no risk to prisoners, and was in the building from 8.45am to 10am last Thursday.
A spokesman for Perth Magistrates Court said approximately 12 accused appeared in the affected courtroom that day in person.
“All those in attendance were required to wear a mask,” the spokesman said.
“Upon being notified of the positive case, the court provided details to Health officials to enable contact tracing to occur.
“The presiding magistrate and court staff were told to isolate and returned negative test results.”
The West understands a number of lawyers were also contacted and told to get tested.
Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson has announced a new limit on the purchase of rapid antigen tests for personal use - with West Australians barred from purchasing more than one box or three individual kits at any one time in a bid to prevent hoarding.
“At this point of the pandemic in WA, PCR testing is still the appropriate and most effective tool to diagnose COVID-19, particularly for symptomatic people,” Dr Robertson said.
“When there is widespread community transmission in Western Australia, use of rapid antigen tests for diagnosis will be a further available tool in the public health response.”
Earlier, Premier Mark McGowan announced WA had added nine new cases overnight – three of which are also connected to The Library as well as Hip-E Club in Leederville.
The Wheatbelt cluster also grew to three cases, with one new infection in Cunderdin and the other in Goomalling.
One new case was associated with each of the Willagee IGA and Coolebellup clusters, while the remaining two are mystery infections.
A surf store, an ice arena, a karaoke bar and South West country club are among more than a dozen new COVID exposure sites revealed by WA Health on Friday afternoon.
Sixteen new locations have been attended by a confirmed case, with the advice for visitors to five of them being to immediately get tested and isolate.
Among the sites considered high risk is the Cockburn Ice Arena, Snap Fitness in Rockingham, Infiniti9 Karaoke in Northbridge, King HotPot in East Victoria Park and Mandurah’s The Monkey Bar and Lounge.
Despite the steady increase in cases, testing numbers in WA have remained relatively low with just 7497 people presenting for a swab on Thursday.
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