Victorian health officials believe the use of a nebulizer by a COVID infected guest may have caused the virus to spread at the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel where two workers and another returned traveler were infected

Returned travelers have been evacuated from the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport and two Catholic schools in Sunbury have closed after two more COVID-19 cases occurred Tuesday
Authorities are also preparing for further infections in the community after daily tests found fragments of COVID-19 in wastewater in areas where there are close contacts with the recently confirmed cases

The state government announced that two new cases were linked to the Holiday Inn late Tuesday A number of exposure sites were announced late that night, with the two cases officially added to Wednesday’s case list

Holiday Inn’s two most recent cases are of a returned traveler who tested positive for the virus after her 14-day quarantine period ended, and a food and beverage employee, an authorized hotel employee, tested positive on Sunday >

Brett Sutton, chief health officer, said health officials are working on the hypothesis that these cases are all related to nebulizer use

“It vaporizes medication or fluids into a fine mist and when they are inhaled – especially if they are used as medication and someone is infectious or later tests positive – the virus can be transmitted and this mist can then be suspended Air with very, very fine aerosolized particles, ”he said

Victorian health officials believe a nebulizer could be responsible for spreading COVID-19 at the Holiday Inn

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the nebulizer was used by a guest with a pre-existing health condition who was admitted to intensive care with the virus on Tuesday and is now fighting for his life

“We believe the transfer of the British tribe took place prior to entering Victoria,” he said

Returning travelers were required to declare all medical equipment upon arrival, but quarantine chief Emma Cassar said the man’s nebulizer accidentally slipped through

“I think in this case the person did not recognize their nebulizer as a medical device,” she said

Professor Sutton said a nebulizer could create tiny coronavirus particles that could spread when a hotel room door is opened

“We believe the exposures are related to this nebulizer. The virus was carried into the corridor and exposed the authorized officer, the food and beverage service employee and also the other residents that makes geographical sense and makes sense in terms of exposure time “He said

“We know the agent [and] the food and beverage workers were on the floor for a period of time on the relevant days [when the nebulizer was used]]

“We don’t have the exact correlation with the open door, but aerosolized particles allow them to float in the air for several minutes so they don’t have to happen at the same time”

Ms. Cassar said the two workers were wearing surgical masks and goggles at the time, but all employees in the Victorian hotel quarantine would now be fitted with N95 masks

Vaporizing devices, including sleep apnea machines, are banned from standard quarantine hotels and thoroughly searched bags. Anyone needing a nebulizer or similar device will be moved to a designated “hot” hotel

Given the hotel breakouts, Victoria will not increase the number of overseas arrivals to 1,310 as planned on Monday

Meanwhile, daily tests have found fragments of COVID-19 in the wastewater of Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Health Minister Martin Foley

said

Anyone who, in the 72 hours before the 6th February was in Coburg or in the reservoir and shows signs of illness, should be tested immediately

Residents of Glenroy, Broadmeadows, Westmeadows, and Roxburgh Park are also asked to get tested for symptoms after unexpected virus fragments are found in wastewater from these areas

“There are no known cases in these particular drainage areas, but there are a number of contacts [who live there],” said Foley

The food and beverage worker at the Holiday Inn was picked up at the end of her last shift on Jan. February tested negative but developed symptoms two days later

On 8 On February 23, she was told that she was a primary close contact with her COVID-infected colleague – the Authorized Officer – and needed to be tested and isolated

“She was tested on the morning of the ninth and gave a positive result,” said Andrews

The returning traveler, who tested positive two days after leaving the hotel, stayed mostly at home, possibly only exposing her family members and close household contacts to the virus

The authorities are waiting for the test results from two close contacts of the authorized officer, but so far six have tested negative

Three cases have occurred at the Holiday Inn in less than a week, while five were discovered in less than a fortnight at three Victorian quarantine hotels.Three of them have been shown to have the more contagious British variant of COVID-19

More than 950 hotel quarantine workers across the state program are now self-isolating, having been identified as close contacts of the five cases

The Holiday Inn guests were taken to the Pullman Hotel on Swanston Street on Wednesday morning

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, the government agency overseeing the quarantine program, said 48 guests were viewed as primary close contacts of the recent cases

All guests who should leave the quarantine in the next three days must stay at least another three days

Guests at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday morning prior to their evacuationCredit: Nine Messages

“Everyone who is between 27 January and 9th Have spent 15 minutes or more at this Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport facility on February 15 – workers or residents – are required to isolate for 14 days, “Andrews said

Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor, which operated as a quarantine facility, was evacuated in mid-January after an occasional cleaner tested positive for the highly infectious British virus strain Six cases were linked to a cluster located on the hotel’s seventh floor

All of the Grand Chancellor’s guests were evacuated individually in ambulances to another quarantine hotel, where they had to restart their 14-day quarantine period

But Prime Minister Andrews brushed off questions about why people from the Holiday Inn were put on a bus together, saying the method of transportation was advice based

“The safest method was used, they made a full assessment of the risk these individuals presented based on their individual circumstances and their shared circumstances,” he said

Salesian College at Sunbury and nearby St Anne’s Primary School will reopen Thursday after a precautionary shutdown Wednesday.Some members of the school community associated with the infected Holiday Inn food and beverage worker have been released as secondary close contacts
The health department updated its list of exposure sites late Tuesday night with seven Sunbury venues, including Cellarbrations and several stores in the Sunbury Square shopping center

Anyone who is in these locations at the specified times must be tested and isolated for 14 days regardless of their test result

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian slapped her Victorian counterpart after claiming Victoria had “higher standards” than NSW in quarantine hotels on Tuesday

“I can predict for you that we are nowhere near the capacity NSW has We’re going to have less capacity because we have a different model and, I believe, higher standards, “said Andrews

Ms. Berejiklian spoke to 2 GB radio station in Sydney on Wednesday morning and said the Victorian Prime Minister was “pretty good at spin”

“I don’t think the folks at NSW want me to limit myself to such statements”


The NSW Prime Minister said she believed that the success of a state’s hotel quarantine system should be measured by how many Australians have returned home to keep the community safe

“I’m not interested in arguing with Gladys, and I’ll somehow find a way to get rid of that barb,” he said

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Nebuliser, Sunbury

World News – AU – The nebulizer device could be behind the spread of COVID-19 at the Holiday Inn, Sutton says

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/two-melbourne-schools-closed-after-quarantine-hotel-cases-20210210-p5712v.html