Home / World News / Major NYE events postponed, fears of test dodgers in WA as state records one new coronavirus case

Major NYE events postponed, fears of test dodgers in WA as state records one new coronavirus case

Western Australia has recorded one new coronavirus case amid concerns that dozens of close contacts of an infected backpacker are dodging authorities.

The new case reported on Monday is a woman aged in her 20s who is a close contact of a positive case but has been in quarantine while infectious.

Authorities moved quickly to contain the spread of the virus last week after a positive case – an infected French backpacker who flew in from Queensland – visited several locations and bar-hopped through Northbridge.

Premier Mark McGowan said the virus trajectory for the state was promising.

“This is good news and another encouraging result from this Delta outbreak,” Mr McGowan said.

“We cannot afford to miss a single case – thank you to everyone for listening to the health advice and following directions.”

The initial case, announced last Thursday, sparked a return of WA’s indoor mask mandate and the cancellation of major public events and nightclubbing over the next four days as contact tracers assessed the situation.

About 608 close contacts have been identified as part of the outbreak, with about 86 per cent of those tested returning a negative result so far.

Of those close contacts, 86 are still yet to be tested, including 39 from the Perth Mess Hall event.

There are also about 1089 casual contacts, with about 30 per cent yet to come forward for a test.

WA Police are now involved in tracking down those yet to be tested, believed to be mainly backpackers.

Mr McGowan said some had their phones turned off and could not be reached.

He said it was worrying that those considered a close or casual contact were still yet to come forward.

“This is something that is worrying as we cannot be 100 per cent sure that the Delta virus is not lingering in the community somewhere,” he said.

“If you know you’ve been to an exposure site, especially the Perth Mess Hall event, we need you to come forward immediately.

“We need you to do the right thing and get tested.”

Major events in Perth will be cancelled over New Year’s Eve.
Camera IconMajor events in Perth will be cancelled over New Year’s Eve. Credit: Supplied

WA authorities met overnight to discuss potential risks associated with the recent positive cases.

The current rules — which include indoor mask mandates, high-risk music events being cancelled, and seated food and beverage consumption — will be extended to January 4.

Mask wearing will also be enforced at the Perth Cup and patrons will have to show proof of vaccination.

Night clubs on New Year’s Eve will also close, Mr McGowan confirmed.

“Given the high-risk nature of some of the exposure sites, we’re expecting to see large numbers of positive cases, but so far we have limited the spread,” Mr McGowan said.

“We now are possibly able to kill off this outbreak, but we are not out of the woods just yet.”

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