NSW truckie sparks COVID-19 scare in WA

A NSW truck driver who visited Western Australia last week has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting public warnings over exposure sites.

© Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now available across selected West Australian pharmacies.

But authorities say at this stage, the coronavirus case won’t impact on the AFL grand final match in Perth on Saturday.

A second driver who travelled in the same truck has tested negative for the virus.

Health Minister Roger Cook said he was confident the risk to the wider community was low, given the pair were only in WA about 48 hours, from September 16 to 17.

The infected man tested positive on his return to NSW.

The minister expected only a small number of potential contacts, most likely among people who visited refuelling sites.

There was also likely to be similar exposure sites in South Australia.

Mr Cook said the discovery of the man’s infection would not prompt any immediate changes to arrangements for the AFL grand final where a capacity crowd was expected at Optus Stadium.


Video: Central Tasmania’s only rural GP closing over vaccine mandate (ABC NEWS)

But he said that could change if there were more infections.

“It really depends on the positive cases and the background to those cases,” he said.

“If there’s a mystery component, that gives us greater causes for concern.”

Also on Wednesday, the state government confirmed coronavirus vaccines would be mandatory for staff of WA’s ports who access or work with vessels exposed to the virus.

The state government has set a deadline of October 15 for all workers to have had at least one COVID-19 jab.

The direction applies to all commercial ports in WA and includes anyone who carries out a service in connection with an exposed vessel or who interacts with the crew. 

The rules do not prevent anyone unvaccinated working on vessels not exposed to COVID-19, while exemptions will also apply to police and emergency workers.

“Shipping provides Western Australians with vital imports, as well as ensuring our highly lucrative exports are carried across the globe,” Health Minister Roger Cook said.

“But these vessels also bring with them the risk of importing COVID-19 into our community.

“We need to be ever-vigilant and continue our best efforts to keep the virus out.”

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