Two more COVID cases linked to WA backpackers | Bega District News


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Western Australia has detected two new local cases of COVID-19 linked to an infected French backpacker who traveled from Queensland. The state has ordered eight million rapid antigen tests, with Premier Mark McGowan saying he is watching NSW to learn how not to deal with the pandemic. A young woman who was in close contact with the 25-year-old unvaccinated index case is one of the new cases, McGowan said. She was also at a lively dance party at Perth Mess Hall with 400 other people 10 days ago, many of whom were from the traveler community. The event has been linked to multiple infections as the backpacker group grows to 12 infections. The other case is another backpacker who was likely to have come into contact with infected backpackers, Mr. McGowan said. “How she acquired it we are not entirely sure at the moment,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “But she says she wasn’t at the mess event.” Contact tracers identified 704 close contacts of which 50 have yet to be tested. “Of these, 44 were at the mess event (and) 16 people are unlikely to be contacted due to false or misleading information they provided through the contact log or ticket sales,” he said. Mr McGowan said. “The police are working very hard to find these people.” It comes as the vaccination rate for the first dose of WA climbs to 91.7% for people over 12 years of age and to 83.6% for double doses. “Our numbers continue to grow every day and during that time we will have more cases,” Mr. McGowan said. When asked if WA would continue to demand negative PCR results from travelers, Mr McGowan said he would listen to state health experts and discuss the matter in national cabinet on Thursday before changing politics. He also said the Washington state government was closely monitoring the growth of cases in NSW, saying it could not learn what to do after February 5, when the state plans to reopen its operations. borders. “They really cut and changed everything. Looking at NSW you can see what works and what doesn’t,” Mr. McGowan said. “Usually what they do doesn’t work. Operate on the basis of not doing what NSW does. Out there now and people use them when they don’t need them,” McGowan said. “It would just be a wasted resource and we have to keep them until we need them.” They should be distributed free of charge to residents and travelers. Meanwhile, contact tracers attempting to use the collected data through the SafeWA app are having difficulty because people misspelled their names and addresses or entered incorrect phone numbers when signing up. Mr McGowan said this could delay a face mask warrant and restrictions on Health on rallies will be lifted on January 4 as scheduled. Australian Associated Press

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