COVID-19 in WA: Member for Perth John Carey isolating after visiting exposure site

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Peter LawThe West Australian
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Member for Perth John Carey.
Camera IconMember for Perth John Carey. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

A Cabinet Minister in the McGowan Government has been caught-up in WA’s latest COVID-19 scare.

Housing and Local Government Minister John Carey was sitting in Parliament’s Legislative Assembly for Question Time just after 2pm when he discovered he had been at one of the new public exposure sites.

Mr Carey was at Perth Airport at the same time as a FIFO worker from Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine site who today returned a very weak positive test result.

The FIFO worker was at Perth Airport between 4am and 7am on July 20 at the same time as an infected man who flew from Queensland to WA after completing hotel quarantine.

Mr Carey, the Labor MP for Perth, was at the airport on the same day and at the same time while he waited to catch a flight to Geraldton for work.

As soon as his staff made the connection this afternoon, he put a mask on and drove himself to the nearest COVID testing clinic in Mount Hawthorn to get swabbed.

Perth Airport.
Camera IconPerth Airport. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Mr Carey is now isolating at home while he waits for his test result, which should be returned tonight or tomorrow.

Mr Carey’s spokesman said: “On the morning of July 20, Minister John Carey attended Perth Airport ahead of a regional visit. The time the Minister was at the airport coincides with the Department of Health’s advice of the location being a COVID-19 exposure site.

“Upon becoming aware this afternoon, the Minister followed all health advice. He put on a mask and immediately travelled to get a COVID test. The Minister is now isolating at home and awaiting the results of that test. The Minister is fully vaccinated.”

Earlier, Mark McGowan resisted plunging Perth into its fourth lockdown of the year.

It’s not known if the mine site worker acquired the virus from the Queensland traveller but the Premier said that was the strong suspicion.

After spending a week at Cloudbreak, the FIFO worker then flew back to Perth Airport on July 27. Encouragingly, the FIFO worker’s partner has returned a negative test result.

Three pubs – the Old Faithful Bar and BBQ in Fremantle on July 28, Indian Ocean Hotel in Scarborough on July 29 and Subiaco Hotel on August 31 – have been listed as exposure sites, as has the PathWest waiting room at Fremantle Hospital between 1pm and 3pm on Monday.

Anyone that visited those locations at the same time must be tested immediately and quarantine until they return a negative result.

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