COVID update WA: Five new cases of community spread include mystery virus case

Headshot of Josh Zimmerman
Josh ZimmermanThe West Australian
Premier Mark McGowan.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Five new locally acquired COVID infections – including a mystery case that was in the community while carrying the virus – have been announced by WA Health.

Four of the new cases are close contacts of previously discovered infections, two of whom spent some time in the community while infectious.

But the remaining case has no known links to either the Omicron-driven Cockburn cluster or the Delta cluster associated with a French backpacker.

“This person has been infectious in the community,” WA Health in a statement.

“Contact tracers are now working with these cases to determine potential exposure sites and these will be uploaded to the HealthyWA website when confirmed.”

The new cases follow the release of an updated list of exposure sites in Perth this morning including Wattle Grove Motel (January 18 and 19), BGC Fibre Warehouse and Distribution in Canning Vale (January 18), Guzman y Gomez outlet at Belmont Forum shopping centre (January 17) and Sagitta CrossFit in East Victoria Park (January 17).

Anyone who was at Sagitta CrossFit on that date is being told to get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of their test result.

In addition, a truck stop on the Eyre Highway and Subway store in the Wheatbelt have also been identified as exposure sites, suggesting a truck driver is among the new infections – although that has not yet been confirmed by WA Health.

Exposure site: Belmont Forum.
Camera IconExposure site: Belmont Forum. Credit: UNKNOWN/SUPPLIED

On Wednesday, WA recorded two new locally-acquired cases – including a man who visited the Fiona Stanley Hospital emergency department on Monday evening, forcing 12 staff into isolation.

The man, who is aged in his 60s, vaccinated and lives with four other men, was infectious in the community and is believed to be linked to the growing Omicron outbreak known as the “Cockburn cluster”.

It was not yet known how he contracted the virus but he is believed to be linked to a known COVID exposure site.

WA Health said Fiona Stanley Hospital was not deemed an exposure site at this stage as contact tracers had identified people who were at the location at the time.

“Staff identified as close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days,” the department said in a statement.

“After seven days, if required, the staff can return to work with strict measures in place, including additional testing, and they would need to return home to quarantine immediately after work.”

Five travel-related cases were also diagnosed in the latest reporting period to 8pm Wednesday night.

That brings the total number of active cases currently being monitored in WA to 79, 23 of whom are in hotel quarantine with the remainder self-isolating. No cases are in hospital.

Just under 5000 tests were conducted yesterday.

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