New WA exposure sites linked to Pan Pacific COVID-19 cluster identified

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New WA exposure sites linked to Pan Pacific COVID-19 cluster identified

By Marta Pascual Juanola

Western Australia’s contact tracing continues in overdrive after authorities identified six new exposure sites on Tuesday believed to be linked to the Pan Pacific hotel coronavirus cluster.

The state recorded no new COVID cases in the community or hotel quarantine overnight, but the results of 33 close contacts and 194 casual contacts of the confirmed cases are yet to return.

Premier Mark McGowan.

Premier Mark McGowan.Credit:Getty

To date, 26 of the 59 close contacts have returned negative tests, and 173 casual contacts have also been cleared. That number is expected to grow on Tuesday as labs return the remaining results.

The latest locations to be added to the growing list of exposure sites include two KFC restaurants in Beldon and Hillarys; a 7 Eleven petrol station in Balga; a Caltex petrol station in Whitfords; a Coles Express in Ocean Reef; and a Pizza Hut in Wanneroo.

Anyone who visited those locations at the same time as the confirmed cases should immediately get tested for coronavirus and isolate at home until they return a negative test.

Authorities have also amended the times the cases visited the Puma petrol station in Madeley, as well as the Coles, Smokemart, and Northlands Fresh stores at Prime West Northlands Shopping Centre.

The Department of Health is actively monitoring 26 active COVID-19 cases, including three patients receiving care at Royal Perth Hospital.

On Monday alone, health authorities tested more than 7500 West Australians for COVID-19 and vaccinated about 2200. To date, 24,000 people have been fully immunised in WA.

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Premier Mark McGowan, who got his first jab on Monday, said the Claremont vaccination clinic was fully booked but encouraged people over 50 to get vaccinated at the clinics at Perth Airport and Kwinana. The Joondalup hub is expected to be running by the end of the week.

“We are doing as much as we can to get people vaccinated who are eligible in the over 50 cohort. When your time comes, please, make sure you take advantage,” he said.

WA has avoided going into another lockdown despite recording three community cases, traced back to a man who worked as a security guard at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

The security guard, known as case 1001, lives in the northern Perth suburb of Nollamara with seven housemates. Two housemates have returned positive test results but the remaining have tested negative.

Mr McGowan said many of the state’s restrictions could be lifted on Saturday, pending no community transmission of the virus.

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