In terms of the Delta variant outbreak in West Melbourne, I previously said we were working on four main theories…
In terms of the first possibility, as I mentioned, we have reviewed the testing of all the other 24 arrivals on the plane and we’re still reviewing details about ground crew who may have been on the plane after… The flight crew, as I mentioned before, did not leave the plane.
We now feel that the second possibility – that the case transmitted to someone else after they’d left hotel quarantine – we think that’s probably unlikely, as he had been correctly cleared with positive serology. We now have some negative tests on his household members in the household that he was staying at after he left hotel quarantine.
In terms of the last possibility. We’ve recontacted the 12 residents and tested most of them again, but noting that they’d all tested negative multiple times while in hotel quarantine and in most cases had also been tested after their hotel quarantine period.
So this leaves that third possibility, of staff. We’ve cross-checked 268 staff at the Ibis and about 370 at the Holiday Inn, including health care workers, cleaners, hotel stars, VicPol, CQV and contractors who entered the hotel and we’ve ensured that they’ve all had their surveillance tests and they’re all negative.
We’ve also checked their addresses to make sure that they don’t live anywhere near either of the two families. We’ve continued to look upstream of the two families and have tested their contact. While there are still a few tests still to come back, we’re not coming up with a transmission path between this case in hotel quarantine and either of the families.
So while it’s the judgement of the public health team that we are in a position to ease restrictions, these new cases are really the strongest reminder that we are, by no means, out of the woods yet.