Coronavirus crisis: WA contact tracers scramble to find close contacts of COVID-19-positive NT miner
WA contact tracers are scrambling to identify FIFO workers who may have come into contact with a COVID-positive miner in the Northern Territory before travelling to WA.
Authorities are trying to track down about 900 FIFO workers across WA, Queensland and NT after the mine worker at the Newmont Tanami operation in the NT was confirmed as COVID positive early this morning.
WA Chief Health Officer Andrew Robertson said the Health Department was working to identify “potential contacts” of the case in the NT who had since travelled to WA.
Anyone who travelled to WA from Granites Gold Mine and was at the mine between June 18 from midday to June 25 is required to self-quarantine for 14 days and get tested immediately.
Those from the NT who were not at the mine and have arrived after June 18 are also required to get tested if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms.
The Health Department said it did not yet have the number of potential close contacts in WA, but is expected to release the figure sometime this afternoon.
The FIFO worker who tested positive in the NT was originally from Victoria and is believed to have been infected with the Delta variant at the Airport Novotel quarantine hotel in Brisbane.
Authorities believe he could have been infectious from June 18 to June 24.
A Newmont spokesman said the organisation had “activated” a response plan, including its COVID safety measures, and was working with the NT Health Department.
However, the spokesman was unable to say how many of its at-risk workers had returned to WA.
All operations have been temporarily suspended and employees are isolating, except for the “critical few” who are responsible for maintaining key systems.
“These actions are in addition to the safety measures already implemented at the site to protect our workforce and nearby communities,” the spokesman said.
“Some of these measures include pre-screening at all entry points to site, on-site hygiene controls and reduced workforce on site.”
Newmont said it would keep everyone “informed” as information became available.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters the man tested positive on Friday, and is believed to have caught the virus while in hotel quarantine in Queensland.
— With AAP
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