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Test results from contacts linked to Melbourne quarantine worker ‘very encouraging’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

All close contacts of the Melbourne’s infected hotel quarantine worker have tested negative to COVID-19.

All workplace contacts linked to Melbourne's infected hotel quarantine worker have been contacted and are now in isolation, Victoria's Minister for Health Martin Foley confirmed.

All of the 767 workplace contacts connected with the positive are currently awaiting test results while in isolation.

A further 362 close contacts from 14 exposure sites around Melbourne are also awaiting test results.

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Of the 1129 people tested in relation to the possible outbreak, 60 per cent have tested negative so far.

Roughly 860 hotel quarantine staff are also awaiting test results, including staff from the Granted Hyatt and the Park Royal hotels.

So far, all those tested have returned negative results.

All close contacts of the infected worker have tested negative to COVID-19, bolstering hopes the state has avoided a potential outbreak of the deadly UK virus strain.

The news comes after Victoria recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

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Mr Sutton said while the results were "very encouraging" the state must wait at least 14 days before determining whether the outbreak has been avoided.

"It is early days, some of these exposures occurred right at the end of January and the start of February," Mr Sutton said.

Mr Foley encouraged Victorians to continue the state's high testing numbers after more than 22,000 people were tested in the last 24 hours.

"That is a very reassuring figure," he said.

Victoria strengthening hotel quarantine system

Victoria is bolstering their hotel quarantine measures further after the system was reset on December 7.

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Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said a number of new measures had been implemented to ensure the state is protected from emerging overseas strains of COVID-19.

From Thursday evening, all staff working in hotel quarantine are in face shields and surgical masks opposed to single N95 masks.

The state has also started a ventilation review to determine whether it may be possible for the virus to have travelled through the ventilation system.

"We don't think at this stage this is about ventilation, but again we're not leaving any stone unturned," Ms Neville said.

"We rejected a number of hotels at the time, and the ones that we have used throughout this program are hotels that do not share air between rooms or into common areas."

Source: 9News

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