Last Saturday a security guard working in hotel quarantine tested positive for the COVID-19 variant known as the 'UK strain'. The positive test ended NSW's 55-day streak of no locally acquired coronavirus cases.
The public servants at NSW Health, who have been the true champions of this pandemic, quickly tracked the guard's movements to locations in Beverley Hills, Bexley and Hurstville, as well as travel on the T4 line between Hurstville and Central stations.
It is important that we all monitor and follow the latest NSW Health advice, available here https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates. Our local paper, The St George Leader also does a great job keeping us up to date.
This is a wake-up call for our community. Throughout this crisis the St George community has been amazing, acting responsibly and following health orders. But this new case - right in the heart of St George - shows why we must remain vigilant.
Highly contagious COVID-19 variants are on the rise globally and are turning up in Sydney's quarantine system. In the first week of March, there were 14 returned overseas travellers who tested positive for one of these dangerous variants. Twelve were the 'UK strain', one was the 'South African strain, and the other was NSW's first case of the 'Brazilian strain'.
We know the security guard who tested positive worked at both the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney's CBD and the Mantra Hotel in Haymarket. Working at multiple venues should not be happening. It is too great a risk.
The NSW Government needs to ensure all hotel quarantine security guards have secure, full-time employment so they do not have to work part-time across multiple venues.
Hotel quarantine is meant to be a bubble, but it's not going to work effectively if guards are forced to take other roles in other parts of Sydney in order to earn enough to pay their bills.
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