Here is some more detail of the Sydney venues and transport identified in connection to the hotel worker who tested positive.
New South Wales chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said the 47-year-old hotel quarantine security guard who tested positive to Covid-19 early this morning received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on 2 March. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to get full immune response. The AstraZeneca vaccine, which Australia is also using, creates the bulk of the immune response in the first dose with the second dose 12 weeks later acting more to extend the coverage.Chant said:
“This man was vaccinated on March two, we wouldn’t have expected his immune system to kick in for 12-14 days or potentially longer, and then the second days of the Pfizer vaccine gives further enhancement to that immune response. In terms of our understanding about transmission, while we are still learning how the vaccines impacted transmission – but what we would hope for and believe in theoretical terms is if you are vaccinated, you probably don’t have such a high viral load… it will potentially stop you transmitting it to the same degree”
The man worked night shifts on weekends at two quarantine hotels, the Mantra and the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. During the week he worked another job “in an office based setting,” Chant says.
Hotel quarantine staff working multiple jobs was identified as a risk factor during Melbourne’s deadly second wave, and also in the South Australian outbreak last September. Victoria has banned hotel quarantine workers from holding a second job – but NSW still permits it.
Genomic sequencing is still being conducted, but Chant said it was believed the man may have caught the virus from a person quarantining at the Sofitel. He worked an overnight shift at that hotel last Saturday.
Health minister Brad Hazzard said he was “relatively relaxed” about the outbreak.
The man has not shown any symptoms and was picked up in surveillance testing, conducted every time a person in the quarantine system in NSW works a shift. His family members have been tested and returned negative results, and 130 other close contacts have been identified and are now isolating.
Three venues — the Bexley Aquatic centre from 9am to 9.30am Saturday, Pancakes on the Rocks at Beverly Hills from 10.45am to 12pm Saturday, and the train from Hustville to the city, arriving 6.30pm Friday – have been identified as low risk exposure sites.