14/12/2021 - 14:48

COVID-infected truckies visited WA: Cook

14/12/2021 - 14:48

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Health Minister Roger Cook has confirmed the state is grappling with two evolving situations involving three COVID-positive truck drivers who entered WA last week.

COVID-infected truckies visited WA: Cook
Mr Cook said the incident was another reminder of the importance of being vaccinated ahead of the state reopening to the rest of the world on February 5.

Health Minister Roger Cook has confirmed the state is grappling with two evolving situations involving three COVID-positive truck drivers who entered Western Australia last week.

During an urgent press conference this afternoon, Mr Cook confirmed WA Health had informed the state government it was dealing with two separate incidents involving truck drivers who had tested positive for COVID-19 upon return to South Australia.

It is understood two fully-vaccinated truck drivers entered WA from South Australia in the early hours of December 9, undertaking testing at the border in line with interstate travel requirements for freight workers.

After returning negative test results, the pair spent three days in WA, visiting Norseman BP, Coolgardie IGA, Crust Pizza in Cannington, Chemist Warehouse in Cannington, and Woolworths Bentley Plaza.

But both drivers have now tested positive for the virus, with WA Health now warning it is possible the men were infectious during their visit.

Contact tracers are now working to identify all possible exposure sites and contacts of the men, having identified 55 so far.

The second incident involves two other truck drivers who also entered WA from South Australia on December 9, both of whom are fully vaccinated.

They arrived and returned a negative PCR test, staying for 24 hours before returning to South Australia.

One of the two drivers has since tested positive for the virus, with WA Health now looking at possible exposure sites.

The two incidents are understood not to be related.

Mr Cook said the incident was another reminder of the importance of being vaccinated ahead of the state reopening to the rest of the world on February 5.

“It is so vital that everyone gets vaccinated, if they’re eligible,” Mr Cook said.

“COVID-19 will be a reality in our lives and the risk of contracting the virus will be a risk we need to manage as we begin to travel again.

“This is just the new reality of dealing with COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, the state’s vaccination rate continues to climb, with first dose vaccination rates having reached 89.3 per cent today and 80.3 per cent of those over the age of 12 now fully vaccinated.

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