NSW Health has published a new public health alert after a 47-year-old security guard, who worked at two quarantine hotels, the Sofitel Hotel in Wentworth and the Mantra Hotel in Haymarket, tested positive to COVID-19 on the weekend. This marks the end of NSW’s 56-day COVID-free record.
In a media release on Monday, NSW Health noted that there were now 12 exposure sites, including two public transport routes under public Health Alert. They have also advised that anyone at Beverly Hills Pancakes on the Rocks 507 King Georges Road on Saturday, March 13, between 10:45 am–12 pm to “immediately be tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.”
According to Kerry Chant, the NSW Chief Health Officer, NSW Health believe a returning traveller infected the man from the hotel where he worked as a security guard.
“The genomics is being done urgently, and we are expecting that…very late into the evening or early tomorrow morning,” Chant told the media on Sunday.
The security guard had already received his first Pfizer vaccine shot on March 2, with his second shot to be administered in a week. Chant warned that the Pfizer shot could not guarantee protection against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, for at least 12 days after the injection.
The New South Wales opposition has called the state Liberal government to make all hotel quarantine security guards work full-time so that they will not need to work across different places.
“The role security guards play in hotel quarantine is too important,” Labor health spokesman Ryan Park said on Monday. “It’s not going to be effective if guards are forced to take other roles in other parts of Sydney to make ends meet.”
Responding to the new case in NSW, Victorian Health Department has announced in a media release that anyone who visited the site at specified times to get tested and immediately quarantine.
The department also said that as more information comes out, further NSW areas may be re-designated as red or orange zones.