Two new cases of hotel quarantine-acquired COVID-19 have been confirmed in Western Australia, forcing guests who were previously in adjacent rooms to self-quarantine in the community.
The WA Health Department said in a statement late on Wednesday that the previously reported infections were initially listed as being overseas acquired.
A spokeswoman said the two people had never been released from hotel quarantine and remained there.
“The virus was transmitted in hotel quarantine at the Mercure Hotel Perth, as two sets of guests, in rooms opposite each other, had the same sequence of virus – despite arriving from different countries at different times,” the department said after confirming genome sequencing data.
“All other guests who previously stayed on the same (sixth) floor during this time and have been released from the hotel facility tested negative prior to release.
“These guests will be re-tested and directed to self-isolate until cleared by the public health team.
“Guests who were previously in the rooms immediately adjacent will be self-quarantined for 14 days since their last potential exposure and tested.”
A spokeswoman told NCA NewsWire: “We’re just using an abundance of caution”.
There have so far been no positive test results from the hotel’s workers and WA’s acting chief health officer has immediately commenced an investigation into how the transmission occurred.
WA’s only case of community transmission in almost 10 months was in January at the Four Seasons Hotel in the CBD and was caught by a hotel quarantine worker – a security guard – plunging Perth, Peel and the South West regions into a snap five-day lockdown.
“While similar transmission in hotels in other jurisdictions has not resulted in community transmission, the community must always remain vigilant,” the department said.
“The threat of COVID-19 remains real.”