South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier says it is most likely a Victorian man, who tested positive to COVID–19 on Tuesday, caught it while staying in hotel quarantine in Adelaide.
Victorian health authorities announced the positive case on Tuesday.
The man in his 30s had stayed at the Playford medi-hotel before returning home to Melbourne.
Professor Spurrier said the man was on the same flight as another man who tested positive for the virus on day nine of his stay at the hotel.
She said it was not out of the realm of possibility that the virus was transmitted on the aeroplane, but unlikely.
“It would be a very, very long incubation period for this gentleman that’s gone to Victoria, but even if we get the genomic back the same, it may be impossible at the end of the day to say which one it is, although I would probably err on saying it’s probably more likely to be transmission in the hotel,” Professor Spurrier said.
The Victorian man left the North Terrace hotel on the same day as the positive man was transferred to Adelaide’s Tom’s Court Hotel, where coronavirus cases are taken.
She said there would not have been an “overlap” between the two men in a hotel corridor because of the way travellers were moved, but SA Health officials were looking at CCTV.
“We do know that this virus can hang around in aerosols, so that’s one hypothesis,” she said.
“Because the gentleman who was our case could have been positive for a couple of days earlier so we’re of course looking at the fact that these are adjacent rooms.”
Hotel guests being tested again
SA Health on Tuesday contacted the 35 travellers who had been in the hotel at the same time as the Victorian positive case.
Many of them had subsequently travelled interstate, Professor Spurrier said.
They had been urged to get tested and isolate, she said.
“There’s quite a lot of follow-up and review if there’s a problem like this,” she said.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Tuesday said testing was still underway but he had little doubt the man became infected in South Australia’s hotel quarantine program.
Victorian health authorities have had trouble getting in touch with contacts because many had not used the state’s QR system to register at places they visited.
There are a number of tier one and tier two exposure sites, which are being constantly updated on the Victorian government’s coronavirus website.
More than 21,000 test results were received by Victorian authorities on Tuesday, but no new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded on Wednesday.