Health staff forced to quarantine after Covid-19 case went to hospital in WA

Angie RaphaelNCA NewsWire
People are urged to get vaccinated. Tony McDonough/NCA NewsWire
Camera IconPeople are urged to get vaccinated. Tony McDonough/NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

Western Australia has recorded two new local cases of Covid-19 overnight, including one person who was infectious in the community and forced a dozen health staff into self-quarantine.

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said one of the new cases was an unvaccinated man aged in his 50s, who was linked to the Cockburn cluster and had been in quarantine.

The second person is a vaccinated man, aged in his 60s, who has been transferred to hotel quarantine since his diagnosis.

Authorities are trying to understand how he may have contracted the virus, but he is believed to be linked to the Cockburn cluster too.

Ms Sanderson said the man lived with four other men, who were also placed into quarantine and had been tested.

“While the man is vaccinated, he has not been in quarantine for his whole infectious period and therefore, as contact tracing continues, exposure sites will be published,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

“This man has presented to an emergency department (at Fiona Stanley Hospital) having had some respiratory illness.”

WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson gave the updated on Wednesday. Picture: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

But the minister said the man was not admitted to the hospital and he was instead managed under Covid protocols.

“While staff were wearing PPE, there are several (12) staff considered contacts from the hospital visit and they will self-quarantine as a precaution with the exact time frame determined based on their individual contact with the case,” she said.

Ms Sanderson said the close contact staff might return to worker sooner than 14 days if they test negative.

Three interstate cases in quarantine were also recorded overnight.

Ms Sanderson said WA was monitoring 82 active cases, with 25 in hotel quarantine, 57 in self-quarantine and no one in hospital.

She said there were 34 active cases of the Omicron variant.

“We do still hold serious concerns around Omicron in the community,” she said.

“Omicron is lurking so we need to be vigilant and prepared.

“We do assume that Omicron is in the community to some extent.”

The full list of exposure sites can be found here.

The man went to Fiona Stanley Hospital. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Regarding the two vessels off the coast of WA, Ms Sanderson said authorities were still monitoring each situation.

“The British chief tanker remains off the coast of Port Hedland with seven crew who have tested positive on rapid antigen tests,” she said.

“The infected crew members are isolating in their cabins and continue to be safely monitored while the vessel remains offshore.”

Meanwhile, a cargo bulk carrier has arrived in Bunbury and will berth later on Wednesday.

It will offload its shipment and leave with minimal risk, Ms Sanderson said.

“This vessel is reporting four crew who have tested positive on rapid antigen tests,” she said.

Originally published as Health staff forced to quarantine after Covid-19 case went to hospital in WA

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