Daniel Andrews defends worker movement between aged care and hotel quarantine after worker who tested COVID positive found to be working in both – two months after first hotel clusters

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The Victorian Premier has conceded the Government can’t limit worker movement “100 per cent” after the worker was revealed to have caught the virus at a ‘private’ aged care home after working both there and at the Grand Chancellor quarantine hotel at the height of Victoria’s second wave.

The worker was one of nine hotel quarantine workers who tested positive for the virus between July 27 and the end of August – over two months after new COVID cases emerged in Victoria’s quarantine hotels, and weeks after the Premier announced an inquiry into the hotel quarantine system on June 30.

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) confirmed to The Australian that the staff member “likely acquired COVID-19 while working at a private aged care facility” and worked at the hotel while infectious and pre-symptomatic.

“There are now strict measures in place to prevent staff undertaking outside employment and anyone who does so without approval will face disciplinary measures,” their spokesperson said.

Mr Andrews rejected criticism of the movement between hotel quarantine and aged care, saying his Government was “doing everything that we can to limit movement.”

“Sometimes, you can’t get 100 per cent. You can’t reduce that to zero,” he said.

Asked why it had taken so long to put safeguards in place – given the length of time that the worker was moving between hotel quarantine and aged care, he added: “I don’t think it’s a recent thing. It’s been there for quite some time.”

Considering the majority of Victoria’s deaths have been in residential care, you would think that the Premier would be more attuned to the dangers.