News WA lockdown avoided for another day as Premier rolls up his sleeve for AstraZeneca vaccine

WA lockdown avoided for another day as Premier rolls up his sleeve for AstraZeneca vaccine

WA Premier Mark McGowan gets the AstraZeneca jab on Monday morning. Photo: ABC: James Carmody
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Perth will continue to avoid another lockdown after no new community cases of COVID-19 were recorded overnight.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday as over 50s across Australia became eligible for the shot.

“It is very important to ensure we get as many West Australians vaccinated as possible,” he said.

The state’s narrow avoidance of another snap lockdown comes as nearly 300 people in Perth remain in isolation after a worker was confirmed to have the mutant US virus strain.

But in good news Mr McGowan said there were three new cases of COVID-19 in returned overseas travellers in quarantine.

He said 6135 COVID-19 tests were done on Sunday.

Perth’s latest coronavirus alarm stems from a security guard who was infected with the virus while working at the city’s Pan Pacific Hotel.

His positive diagnosis was confirmed on Saturday, just days after Perth and the neighbouring Peel district emerged from a snap lockdown because of another leak of the virus from hotel quarantine.

“The past few days, like the past 10 days, have been quite distressing and quite difficult for many people,” Mr McGowan said.

“We didn’t allow crowds at the football yesterday. We have closed down nightclubs, and we closed down the main gaming floor on the casino. All
of these things have been difficult decisions and they are obviously difficult for the organisations involved.”

The infected security guard worked on the same floor as two other positive cases staying in hotel quarantine – and has been confirmed to have the same US strain of the virus as one of the guests.

“We expect he acquired the virus from that person,” Mr McGowan said.

“We don’t know how. The advice we have is at this point in time it was not related to ventilation issues in the hotel.”

The man had been out in Perth’s inner-northern suburbs for up to four days before testing positive for COVID-19.

Two of his housemates had since tested positive for the virus.

On Monday, Mr McGowan said 58 close contacts had been identified in relation to COVID-positive security guard.

Of those, 26 have returned negative test results.

Mr McGowan said 17 were from cooking classes.

“We’re awaiting results from the remaining, but all are in quarantine and will be in quarantine for the next 14 days,” he said.

There are also 217 casual contacts, of whom 43 have so far tested negative.

“Casual contacts are required to get tested immediately and quarantine until they return a negative test result,” Mr McGowan said.

Two of the current positive cases work as delivery drivers, prompting about 100 “low-risk” alerts for venues across Perth. A further 100 people who got food from the drivers will also have to be tested.

Perth’s current virus restrictions won’t expire until at least Saturday.

-with agencies