Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Tourism; Commerce; Science

    Enhanced regular testing to keep high risk hotel quarantine staff safe

    20/11/2020 10:45 AM
    • New Directions require key State-run quarantine hotel personnel to be tested regularly
    • Extra layer of protection for WA's successful and robust hotel quarantine operation
    • Infection prevention and control processes continue to be monitored to keep WA safe 

    Hotel quarantine security personnel and cleaning staff assisting in the frontline response to COVID-19 will be required to undertake testing from today, as part of a new weekly mandatory testing program.


    The new Directions require security and cleaning staff at all State-run quarantine hotels to be tested every seven days to better protect these workers in higher risk environments.


    This new testing program is in addition to the protection measures already applied at Western Australia's State-run quarantine hotel system.


    Workers are provided regular refresher training in the correct application and removal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control practices by trained public health nurses. This new measure is an additional layer of reassurance to ensure these systems are working.


    All other staff employed at State-run quarantine hotels already have access to testing under the DETECT Borders program. Frontline workers can receive asymptomatic testing at COVID-19 clinics at any time as often as every seven days.


    This extra layer of testing will ensure that any transmission of illness is identified and managed swiftly to limit any further transmission.


    Lessons learnt from outbreaks in Victoria and South Australia have shown that hotel quarantine is a key source of infection because they are used for international arrivals. 


    In Western Australia, the State Government continues to work around the clock to ensure that all staff - tasked with keeping the Western Australian community safe - are also protected.


    The new direction came into effect at 12.01am on Friday November 20. 


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "This new initiative will enable us to strengthen the already robust processes we have in place through our hotel quarantine program.


    "We know that international arrivals continue to pose the greatest risk of COVID-19 infections and it's vital that we have every possible protection in place to manage the risk of transmission.


    "Security guards and cleaning staff working in hotel quarantine are a vital part of our frontline defence. Their professionalism and commitment has been vital to ensuring that Western Australia has been the safest State in Australia for many, many months.


    "This new testing regime is an extra layer of caution to help protect these workers, their families and the Western Australian community."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500