Premier’s fury at Victorian COVID test bungle
A Victorian testing error has resulted in a teenager travelling to the NSW south coast after wrongly being told he was COVID-19 free, only to discover the results were wrong.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the case as "extremely concerning" and said her government had "no control" over what happens on the other side of the border.
The teenager tested negative for coronavirus before leaving Melbourne for NSW on July 4 but it was only after travelling across the border that Victorian authorities revealed there had been an "error" in the test.
"In fact the test result was a positive," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.
The shock positive result has forced the teenager and his family into isolation in Merimbula, as NSW Health authorities scrambled to contact 80 patrons of the Tathra Hotel, where the family visited before learning of the positive test.
Those patrons are being contacted "as a precaution" because "the risk to other patrons has been assessed as very low," Dr Chant said.
She praised the "exemplary" actions of the family for seeking the precautionary COVID test before leaving Victoria. The family was not from a coronavirus hotspot.
The Victorian testing failure was revealed as Ms Berejiklian stressed her government could not control what happened south of the border. "We already know there's at least one positive case in Wodonga," she said.
"We don't know if that's been contact-traced, we don't know if that person's exposed others," she said.
The uncertainty came as NSW Health revealed its own Sydney-based staff have interviewed 200 Victorian COVID-19 patients over the past five days.
"In coming days our close contact tracing team is expected to contact more than 800 close contacts of those cases," a spokeswoman said.
NSW recorded eight new coronavirus cases yesterday, but seven were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
A woman from southwest Sydney, aged in her 30s, tested positive for the virus, with close contacts in home isolation including some health staff at Liverpool Hospital.
Authorities are doing further tests to determine whether the case was actually an old infection.
Meanwhile, protocols have been stepped up for passenger screening at Sydney airport after 48 passengers were allowed to disembark without a check on Tuesday night.
Planes will now be prevented from driving right up to airport gates before given the green light by health teams.
"The airport has now put in protocols to ensure that the health teams are there and are able to do the screening and no one's allowed to disembark before that happens," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said. A spokesman for NSW Health said three passengers on the flight, including one who now refuses to be screened, have been referred to NSW Police.
Originally published as Premier's fury at Victorian COVID test bungle