“All of us across this state, having been through everything we’ve been through, having been as a community so united, and had that real sense of purpose to this thing. I’m confident that we all know what we have to do.”
In a statement issued late on Wednesday night, the Health Department said the individual last worked at the Grand Hyatt on January 29 and was tested at the end of their shift, returning a negative result.
Subsequently, the worker developed symptoms and was tested again on February 2. He returned a positive result late on Wednesday.
Mr Andrews said the infected person was a CFA volunteer and had attended at least one other CFA function.
Exposure sites also include Club Noble in Noble Park, Northpoint Café in Brighton, Kmart Keysborough and Brandon Park, Coles Springvale, Bunnings Springvale and Melbourne Golf Academy in Heatherton.
The Grand Hyatt was one of three main quarantine hotels used by players and personnel arriving for the Australian Open. Most players were released from quarantine on January 29 and 30.
The health department said it had contacted all Australian Open players, officials and support staff who were staying at the Grand Hyatt from January 29 to February 2.
“They are considered casual contacts. They must immediately isolate and get tested,” the department said.
Mr Andrews said up to 600 tennis players and officials associated with the Australian Open could be considered close contacts.
“They will be isolating until they get a negative test, and that work will be done tomorrow,” he said.
“So may have an impact on tomorrow’s play in the lead-up event. But, at this stage, there’s no impact to the tournament.”
Tennis Australia said late on Wednesday night it would not be providing any updates yet about the changing situation regarding the competition.
Mr Andrews said the fresh outbreak was not related to a breach of the coronavirus rules in place at hotel quarantine.
“This is one case. There’s no reason for people to panic or be alarmed. We know what to do.”
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the worker had provided detailed information to health authorities.
“That’s all you need to get on top of transmission, to know where someone who’s infectious or potentially infectious has been,” he said.
“No other worker has tested positive, including those who’ve gone on to different workplaces, because the Hyatt closed down as a quarantine site.
“This is a test that’s come through in the afternoon. We’ve already ramped up every aspect of the response that we know needs to be in place to get ahead of it.”
Professor Sutton said he expected people to be calling friends and family to identify close contacts as he spoke and dozens of close contacts were being identified on Wednesday night.
Mr Andrews said he had messaged the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to update him on the situation.
The Health Department said major testing sites in Melbourne’s south-east would open early on Thursday morning, with additional lanes open at drive-through testing sites.
The fresh case comes as Victorian health authorities investigate a transmission of the UK variant of COVID-19 within one of the state’s quarantine hotels after the virus jumped from a hotel room to a guest in the opposite room.
The state’s public health team believe viral particles may have exited the room of a family who all later tested positive. Somehow, the virus either lingered in the air or attached itself to a hard surface, which then caused a woman in another room to contract the same strain of COVID-19.
A member of the family recalled opening the hotel room door – either to collect food or put out laundry – at the same time as someone in the room opposite opened their door. CCTV footage has not shown any occasion on which members of the two rooms exited their rooms simultaneously.
The Andrews government hotel quarantine program has previously come under intense scrutiny.
Last year an inquiry was conducted into the first iteration of the quarantine program after several private security guards and workers in quarantine hotels contracted COVID-19 then spread it into the community in May and June.
The spread sparked Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19, which claimed more than 800 lives and caused four months of tough restrictions.
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David Estcourt is a court and general news reporter at The Age.