Coronavirus crisis: WA extends run of community COVID-19 case-free days to 10

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Briana FioreThe West Australian
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WA Premier Mark McGowan has revealed the State’s run of COVID-19 community case-free days has stretched to 10.
Camera IconWA Premier Mark McGowan has revealed the State’s run of COVID-19 community case-free days has stretched to 10. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

WA’s streak of no new community COVID-19 cases has been extended to 10 days.

But despite the good news, a returned traveller from India remains in ICU at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

The COVID-positive man in his 30s was rushed to hospital on Saturday and is now in a stable condition.

The news of WA’s COVID-free streak comes as Health Minister Roger Cook announced additional wastewater sampling locations to determine whether COVID-19 was still present in the community.

Initial results from surveillance locations have come back negative, however the extra sites will be continue to be monitored over a two-week period.

The sampling locations include Canning Vale, Booragoon, Mount Pleasant, Applecross, Kardinya, Balcatta, Westminster, Joondanna, Madeley, Nollamara, Alexander Heights, Mirrabooka, Joondalup, Landsdale, Wangara, Banksia Grove, and Wanneroo.

Mr Cook said targeted testing supported early detection of the virus.

“The addition of these locations visited by known confirmed cases means we are taking yet another step to stay ahead of the virus and it will give further insight into whether COVID-19 is present in the community,” Mr Cook said.

“The early results from the new locations are encouraging but waste water testing is not a substitute for COVID-19 testing or for getting vaccinated when you are eligible.”

Weekly testing has been ongoing since November in Subiaco, Woodman Point, Alkimos, Beenyup, Gordon Road and Point Peron.

Regional sites such as Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Esperance, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Northam and South Hedland are also being tested.

Meanwhile, Premier Mark McGowan agreed to looking into taking repatriation flights from India to help stranded Australians.

Mr McGowan said the number of returning Australians would have to fit within the 530 cap.

He said the reduced capacity was essential in minimising hotel quarantine risks after a security guard caught the virus and spread it to two of his housemates.

“There are no magical solutions,” Mr McGowan said.

There are currently 18 active cases of COVID-19 being monitored by health officials in the State.

Hundreds of people have continued to get tested for the virus, with more than 300 people showing up to COVID clinics yesterday.

The Health Department also recorded 882 vaccinations on the same day.

There have now been 114,506 COVID-19 vaccinations administered in the State, with 26,333 having received two doses.

WA has recorded 68 cases of variant strains of the virus — including one Brazilian variant.

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