A Sydney hotel quarantine security guard who contracted Covid-19 has been fined twice for allegedly failing to isolate after his coronavirus test.
In a statement, New South Wales police said that the 22-year-old man from Campsie had been tested about 5pm on Thursday. He was instructed to immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
But police said he travelled to a shopping centre on Burwood Road, Burwood, in Sydney’s west where he allegedly attended a number of stores over two hours.
On Friday police alleged the man left his home and went to a “government services building” in Burwood. He then had a second test at Royal Prince Alfred hospital.
He was told at 8am on Saturday that he had returned a positive test result and was transferred to a NSW Health quarantine facility.
About 10pm on Sunday he was issued with two fines for breaching public health orders.
The man is the second security guard to contract Covid after working in the state’s hotel quarantine program. The other guard who worked four shifts at the Marriott Hotel in Sydney “most likely” contracted the virus from a traveller from the US.
NSW Health said the second guard also worked at the Marriott Hotel, including one shift on 3 August when both infected guards worked at the same time. On Monday the NSW chief medical officer, Dr Kerry Chant, described the guard as having made only “brief visits” to the hotel.
Chant has previously said that authorities had been unable to establish an “immediate connection” between the two guards, and on Monday she said establishing that link was “challenging”.
“We’ve had preliminary results [and] despite the efforts it may be challenging to isolate sufficient quantities of virus but the labs are continuing to work on that … given his viral load was very low,” she said.
The second guard also worked at the Sheraton Grand Hyde Park overnight on 16 August.
The NSW government has come under pressure for using private security guards, with the Labor opposition calling for guards to be hired full time when conducting hotel quarantine.
Last week Guardian Australia revealed that NSW police were investigating whether private security companies contracted to work in hotel quarantine were illegally subcontracting to third parties.
Police confirmed to Guardian Australia on Wednesday that suspected breaches of laws in NSW preventing private security firms from subcontracting work to third parties had been discovered during monitoring of the hotel quarantine regime.
Source: The Guardian