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NSW awaits hotel guard’s virus test as Qld hotel probed for links to doctor

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NSW Health is urgently tracking the path of a new community outbreak after a security guard at two quarantine hotels in Sydney tested positive for COVID-19.

Diners who were at a pancake restaurant the same night as the 47-year-old man while he was infectious have been deemed “close contacts” and must get tested.

Nine other venues and two public transport routes have also been singled out as places the virus could have spread.

They include a coffee shop at Hurstville Private Hospital, the local train station, a Korean restaurant, a 7-Eleven, and an aquatic centre.


A further 130 close contacts have been asked to self-isolate after working an overnight shift with the security guard who worked at both the Sofitel Wentworth and Mantra at Haymarket hotels in inner Sydney and had already received his first Pfizer jab.

The Sydney man was also working a separate office job, with the state opposition renewing calls for security guards to be employed full-time to ensure they are not working across multiple sites.

Having received first vaccine shot on March 2, the guard’s second dose was due to be administered in about a week.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant warned that the Pfizer jab would not provide protection against COVID-19 for at least 12 days after a person is injected.

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Pancakes on the Rocks in Beverly Hills, NSW, has been listed as an exposure site. Photo: Google Maps

Dr Chant said the source of the security guard’s infection remains unclear, with all four of his family contacts testing negative so far.

He said a “working hypothesis” was the man picked up the virus from an infected traveller while working at the Sofitel overnight on March 6.

“The genomics is being done urgently and we are expecting that … very late into the evening or early tomorrow morning,” she told reporters on Sunday.

Queensland infections

It comes as no new quarantine guests are being allowed in the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane, as health authorities investigate whether an infected traveller has links to an infected Brisbane hospital doctor.

The traveller was staying at the Hotel Grand Chancellor on the same floor at the same time as another infected traveller who’s now at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

That patient had contact with a doctor who later became infected with coronavirus, forcing the hospital into lockdown.

“Case one is the person brought into the hospital on the 9th of March, case two was the doctor who got it off the person who came in on the 9th,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told reporters.

“Case three is a person in hotel quarantine on the same floor as case one.

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Ms D’Ath said officials were assessing CCTV footage to try to identify “why this transmission might have occurred”.

The hotel has been locked down and guests and staff have been prevented from leaving.

No new guests will be checked into the site until the health officials have completed their investigation.

Meanwhile, 238 people linked to the infected doctor have been traced, with virus test results due back in the coming days, Deputy Chief Health Officer Sonya Bennett said.

Three close contacts of the female doctor have all tested negative.

She had contact with two patients infected with the highly contagious UK strain of the virus in the early hours of Wednesday and tested positive on Friday.

One of the patients is likely to have passed on the virus, Dr Bennett said.

-with AAP

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