COVID-19 in WA: Masks are back as Omicron spreads in WA


Masks are back as Premier Mark McGowan pushes the alarm button, warning West Australians the highly-infectious Omicron pressure of COVID-19 has began its insidious — and doubtlessly unstoppable — unfold by the group.

Saying the reintroduction of masks at an emergency press convention on Sunday, Mr McGowan revealed a regarding surge in instances linked to 2 therapeutic massage companies which had not insisted on purchasers checking in by way of the SafeWA app.

And Well being Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson revealed chief well being officer Dr Andy Robertson was involved they might not have the ability to get on prime of the outbreak.

“In gentle of the rising variety of instances in WA, in the present day we are elevating the alarm,” Mr McGowan stated.

“We’d like everybody in Perth and Peel to take the scenario very significantly. We now have some group unfold of Omicron in Perth. We all know it spreads quick and simply.”

5 new COVID instances have emerged in the previous two days, with 4 of these infectious whereas working at U Pure Spa Remedy in Applecross.

Anybody who visited the therapeutic massage enterprise in the previous week is required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their time of publicity, even when they check damaging.

“It is a website of serious concern,” Mr McGowan stated. “There are now six native instances straight linked to this Applecross enterprise, and I implore anybody who has visited this enterprise between January 7 and 13 to please come ahead and get examined instantly.”

“Don’t hesitate, don’t assume you are tremendous as a result of you haven’t any signs. It’s essential to go and get examined.”

“What we all know from the Omicron expertise over East, is which you can be carrying the virus with you and don’t have any signs.”

One other therapeutic massage enterprise — New U Therapeutic massage in Mt Lawley — has additionally been named as an publicity website as a result of one of many affected staff had labored there whereas infectious.

Nu U Massage in Mt Lawley.
Digital camera IconNu U Therapeutic massage in Mt Lawley. Credit score: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Anybody who visited the Mt Lawley institution final Monday, January 10, ought to get examined and isolate for 2 weeks.

The fifth case, linked to a Hyatt resort safety guard, was not believed to have been in the group whereas infectious.

WA Well being is presently managing 112 lively instances of COVID-19 in WA. Of these, 34 are in resort quarantine and 78 in self-quarantine.

“There are now 81 confirmed instances with the Omicron variant,” Mr McGowan stated. “It’s clear the variety of instances of the Omicron variant is rising, and so is the danger to the group.”

In simply the previous seven days, he stated, WA had recorded 18 native instances of Omicron, together with publicity websites in Midland, Northbridge, Victoria Park, West Swan, Cannington, Applecross, Mt Lawley and Jandakot.

“This (outbreak) is regarding as a result of it’s the Omicron variant, and it’s been prevalent in companies the place folks work together carefully,” he stated.

Mark McGowan.
Digital camera IconMark McGowan. Credit score: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Well being authorities imagine one of many therapeutic massage enterprise staff contracted Omicron after they visited a store on the identical time as a constructive case, who turned contaminated earlier this month after they drove a returned traveller from Tasmania from Perth Airport to dwelling quarantine. That case seeded a cluster in the Cockburn space.

Mr McGowan stated WA needed to be vigilant, as different States had been racking up case numbers in the tens of 1000’s.

“The unfold of Omicron is critical and requires a critical response,” he stated.

From 6pm on Sunday, face masks turned obligatory in any respect public indoor venues in Perth and Peel — besides for kids doing vigorous indoor train, or these below 12. Travellers from Perth and Peel to different areas should additionally put on masks.

Opening hours for public testing clinics have been prolonged to 10pm. As nicely as carrying masks, folks will nonetheless be required to indicate proof of vaccination when coming into hospitality venues.

Well being Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson urged extra folks to entrance up for COVID testing, after just one,329 offered themselves at public clinics on Saturday.

“We have to do significantly better than this,” she stated. “We now have Omicron in our group and we can’t afford to be complacent. There’s a critical concern from the chief well being officer that we won’t be able to get on prime of this Cockburn cluster.”

Ms Sanderson stated solely 11 folks had used the SafeWA app to examine into the enterprise on the centre of the outbreak, however with many extra having visited it since January 6, it was possible there can be extra instances.

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.
Digital camera IconWell being Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson. Credit score: Simon Santi/The West Australian

“We have now fought off this virus in WA to this point, however we all know that Omicron is the actual game-changer,” she stated. “We have now seen how rapidly the Omicron variant takes maintain, as soon as it enters the group.”

Mr McGowan stated WA Police can be working with the therapeutic massage companies to attempt to discover out who else had attended through the publicity occasions, however he didn’t anticipate anybody can be charged or fined.

“The primary focus just isn’t on penalties,” he stated. “We simply need folks to go and get themselves examined.”

WA’s borders are scheduled to re-open to the remainder of Australia — and the virus — on February 5.

However Mr McGowan stated the purpose was nonetheless to restrict group unfold of COVID till then, to permit the State to achieve excessive vaccination ranges of 90 per cent double-dosed for folks aged 12 and over.

“What we’ve seen in different states is the ‘let it rip’ technique has been a mistake,” he stated.

In the meantime, a Mundaring magnificence salon introduced its non permanent closure after its proprietor examined constructive to the virus following a go to by a confirmed case on Thursday.

Soul Backyard Holistic Magnificence salon proprietor Fleur McKinlay stated she felt like she had a nasty chilly and was “a bit achy”.

“Our purchasers use hand sanitiser after they come in, they signal in with their app,” Ms McKinlay stated. “Generally folks neglect however we hold a report of everybody.”

“Two of our employees have come back damaging, I’ve clearly come back constructive, and all of our purchasers are present process testing and isolating.”

Shadow well being minister Libby Mettam stated the McGowan Authorities had failed to supply clear recommendation on what staff may anticipate from its plan to re-open the borders.

“Whereas the Premier is elevating the alarm concerning these COVID instances it’s extraordinary we are not seeing this identical stage of concern or urgency in very important data for well being staff and small companies for the McGowan Authorities’s deliberate border opening in a few weeks,” she stated.

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