A security guard at a quarantine hotel has contracted the UK strain of coronavirus, without knowing, and visited a large number of locations in the community.
It’s the first locally acquired case of coronavirus in WA in nearly 10 months.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said during an emergency press conference that the guard had been working at the Four Points Sheraton in the CBD where there were four active cases, including the UK and South African variants.
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“Exactly how the infection was acquired remains under investigation,” the Premier told reporters.
“We suspect he contracted the illness on the Tuesday or the Wednesday. We are advised that he may have been a driver for one of the rideshare companies.”
The state health minister Roger Cook said the man, aged in his 20s, was potentially infectious while out and about, though he “would have been” wearing protective gear while at the hotel.
“It is a serious situation and that is why we invite everyone to undertake the measures that we are all familiar with, that we undertook during March and April last year,” Mr Cook said.
The lockdown, coming into effect from Sunday until 6pm Friday, applied to Perth, Peel and South West regions, closing all non-essential businesses and banning social gatherings.
It will require people in those regions to remain there unless for essential reasons, like grocery shopping and medical care, and masks will be required at all times when outdoors, while working indoors, and on public transport.
“Do not travel further outside of this area until the lockdown is over,” Mr McGowan said.
“If you do need to travel outside the region you are in now, that can only occur if you need to return to your place of residence.”
He added: “There is no need to rush to the supermarkets… You will be able to go out and shop for essentials over the course of this week. I urge everyone to remain calm and to act responsibly.”