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Aussie with coronavirus went clubbing

A MAN who tested positive for coronavirus in Hobart ignored warnings to stay away from public places, visiting two popular night spots and working a shift at a major inner-city hotel while waiting for his results.

The man, in his 20s, was told by health authorities to self-isolate after being tested for the potentially deadly virus on Friday.

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Cargo bar in Salamanca Place
Cargo bar in Salamanca Place

 

But he failed to comply with the advice, visiting Cargo and Obar that night, before working a shift at the Hotel Grand Chancellor the next day.

Health Minister Sarah Courtney and Director of Public Health Mark Veitch labelled the man's actions in ignoring the self-isolation directive unacceptable and disappointing.

Ms Courtney said she had asked Dr Veitch for advice on whether other measures were needed to ensure compliance.

 

Director of Public Health Mark Veitch. Picture: RICHARD JUPE
Director of Public Health Mark Veitch. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

 

The man is in the Royal Hobart Hospital in a satisfactory condition, Dr Veitch said.

"We are working closely with this man. You would appreciate that he is in trying circumstances, he's got a disease he's probably worried about,'' he said.

"We have asked him some questions about his understanding of the requirements and it's our belief that he did understand the requirements but I'm not going to go into any more detail than that."

The man returned to Tasmania from Nepal on February 26 and experienced cold-like symptoms the following day.

He developed further symptoms this week and contacted the public health hotline on Friday.

The man worked as a food and beverage attendant at the Tasman Restaurant at the Grand Chancellor Hotel on February 29 and March 1 from 5pm to 11pm.

 

Hobart's Hotel Grand Chancellor
Hobart's Hotel Grand Chancellor

 

He worked in the same role at conferences at the hotel on March 4, 5 and 7.

He attended the Australian Ideal College campus in Hobart - where he is a student - on February 28 and March 6 for brief periods.

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He attended Cargo and Obar on Friday night between 10pm and 2am, and spent time in the Parliament lawns area - just hours after he had been tested for coronavirus.

The Australian Ideal College said the man was studying an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management at the Hobart campus.

When he attended the college on Friday wearing a mask and awaiting test results, a trainer told him to leave immediately and contacted the health department.

The college said when it found out the man was infected, it took proactive action to inform students who have been in contact with him.

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The college said the health department told them they were not required to implement a full quarantine plan, and classes will resume on Tuesday as planned.

Dr Veitch said the health department was working with the hotel to contact guests of the conferences the man was working at.

 

Graphic showing common symptom and rates of appearance in cases of Covid-19. Source: World Health Organization
Graphic showing common symptom and rates of appearance in cases of Covid-19. Source: World Health Organization

 

Risks to diners who went to the restaurant the man was working at were low, Dr Veitch said, but he said they should be aware they need to be vigilant.

He said people who had encountered the man at the night spots were deemed casual contacts and that the risk of transmission to them was low.

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But he urged anyone who was concerned about the circumstances or any symptoms they have to call the hotline on 1800 671 738.

Four people who share a household with the man have been placed in self-isolation, while a further four close contacts are under the same conditions.

Dr Veitch said 114 tests had been conducted for coronavirus in Tasmania, with two positive tests being returned.