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Victorian health authorities have revealed six potential COVID-19 exposure sites, after a man who completed his hotel quarantine in South Australia returned to the state and tested positive.

Victorian health authorities have revealed six potential COVID-19 exposure sites, after a man who completed his hotel quarantine in South Australia returned to the state and tested positive.
Key points:

  • The man is still being interviewed to confirm potential exposure sites
  • Health authorities are investigating whether he caught the virus while in hotel quarantine
  • Victorian authorities are expected to provide an update at 3:15pm

However, the state government says no new lockdown measures will be imposed in Victoria at this stage, with three of the man’s household contacts returning negative test results.
“We’re not foreshadowing anything [restrictions wise],” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.
The man, who is aged in his 30s, completed his hotel quarantine last Tuesday and flew directly back to Melbourne before returning to his home at Wollert that day, health authorities said.
Health Minister Martin Foley said it was believed the man departed India and flew to the Maldives and Singapore, before landing in Adelaide.
He developed symptoms on Saturday, got tested on Monday and returned a positive result this morning, the Victorian health department said in a statement.
Mr Foley said a follow-up test confirmed the diagnosis.
The man returned to his home at Wollert, north of Melbourne, a week ago.(ABC News
)
Tier one exposure sites were listed as:

  • Pact Retail Accessories (recently known as TIC Group – front office) in Altona North on Wednesday May 5 and Thursday, May 6
  • The Curry Vault Indian restaurant in the CBD on Friday, May 7 between 6:30pm and 9:30pm
  • Epping Indiagates Spices and Groceries on Saturday, May 8 between 5:00pm and 6:00pm
  • Epping Woolworths on Saturday, May 8 between 5:40pm and 6:38pm.

Anyone who visited those sites at the listed times has been urged to self-isolate, get tested, quarantine for 14 days and contact the Department of Health.
All of the updated exposure sites are listed on the Victorian government coronavirus website.
Tier two exposure sites were listed as:

  • Pact Retail Accessories (recently known as TIC Group – warehouse) in Altona North on  Wednesday May 5, Thursday, May 6.
  • 7-11 Epping, High Street on Thursday, May 6 between 6:30pm and 7:00pm and on Saturday, May 8 between 11:10 and 11:40am

“The department is working with interstate counterparts to determine the likely source of this infection,” the Department of Health said in a statement.
Complacency creeping in, Sutton says
Professor Sutton says it is hard to know whether more COVID cases will emerge after a man tested positive.(ABC News: Dylan Anderson
)
Professor Sutton expressed concerns that Australians had grown complacent due to low numbers of locally transmitted cases.
He urged everyone to follow mask-wearing rules and to check into venues using QR codes.
“Everyone should do it all of the time. You just don’t know where a case might pop up and you want to be able to provide that clarity on exactly who was in close contact when someone was infectious,” he said.
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Professor Sutton said testing in the affected areas would be ramped up.
“Only about 25 per cent of symptomatic people report getting tested, in our routine surveys. I want that to be 100 per cent,” he said.
“Everyone in that area, everyone across Victoria who’s symptomatic really needs to come forward for testing.”
He said the Adelaide/Melbourne flight was not being treated as an exposure site because authorities were not listing exposure sites “that don’t relate to the infectious period”.
Jeroen Weimar, Victoria’s COVID-19 Response Commander, later said everyone on the flight would be asked to get tested “just to be absolutely certain” there were no other cases.
The Chief Health Officer said it was hard to predict if more cases linked to the man would emerge.
“It’s random,” he said.
“There is some luck of the draw with coronavirus and we have to work on the presumption that he’s infectious and that everyone who’s been to these exposure sites needs to test and isolate as required.”
Possibility of hotel quarantine transmission ‘top of our mind’
Professor Sutton said he believed the man contracted the virus while in the South Australian hotel quarantine system.
“I think it’s absolutely the case that he picked it up in quarantine in South Australia but we’ll see what other potential exposure sites might exist,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier, said the possibility the man caught the virus in the hotel program was “right at the top of our mind” given previous incidents in other states.
Professor Spurrier said the man was discharged from her state’s hotel quarantine program on May 4 and returned to Victoria.
That day, while in the quarantine hotel, the man had been staying next door to a traveller who tested positive for the virus, she said. 
SA health authorities explain how the case may have become infected in hotel quarantine.
She said that person was transferred to a separate hotel after they tested positive.
“It is a possibility that after that transfer, that if this person [the Victorian case] was released, there was some form of transmission of the virus,” she said.
“I think people have really started to understand that this is a particularly nasty and sneaky virus which is very easily transmitted from one person to another.”
Professor Spurrier said state authorities had looked “meticulously” at ventilation in their quarantine hotels to mitigate against the risk of transmission.
She said once genomic sequencing test results were available for the Victorian case, authorities would check if it matched the strain of the person they were quarantined alongside.
Professor Spurrier said it appeared that all protocols in the quarantine program had been followed, including a message being sent to the man on day 17 of his quarantine period, reminding him to stay vigilant for symptoms.
CBD workers told to isolate
A Melbourne CBD office was evacuated this morning after staff learnt one of their colleagues was a close contact of the confirmed case.
Citadel Group, a software company located at 459 Collins Street, enacted its COVID-safe plan after becoming aware of the link.
“We’ve ordered a deep clean and everyone’s been told to isolate,” a company spokesman said.
It is expected the clean will extend to shared spaces in the building, including lifts.
On Tuesday afternoon, the spokesman said the staff member returned a negative result.
Victorian authorities reinforced the importance of getting tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills or sweats, or a change in sense of smell or taste.
A list of testing sites can be found on the Department of Health website.
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