Victorian hotel worker, COVID-19, negative result, tennis news

Preparations for the Australian Open are set to be heavily impacted after a hotel quarantine worker in Melbourne contracted COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed a 26-year-old man from Noble Park had tested positive for coronavirus.

The man served as a resident support officer at the Grand Hyatt as part of the Australian Open quarantine program.

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According to Andrews, about 500 to 600 people involved in the grand slam — including players and officials — are classified as casual contacts, and will be required to isolate until they test negative.

“There are about 500 or 600 people that are either players and officials and others who are casual contacts,” Andrews said.

“They will be isolating until they get a negative test, and that work will be done tomorrow.

“So it may have an impact on tomorrow’s play in the lead-up event. But at this stage, there’s no impact to the tournament proper.

“That’s important to us, but the issues we’re most focused on is much broader, and that’s about public health and public safety. That’s why we’ve really pounced on this very quickly.

“We’ve got one case. We’re going to work very hard to keep numbers as low as we possibly can. Decisions have been made, and we’ll proceed as we can next week.”

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There are currently six tennis tournaments running at Melbourne Park ahead of the 2021 Australian Open, with several matches scheduled for Thursday.

Several players only emerged from a 14-day hard quarantine last weekend, and some may now be required to briefly self-isolate once again.

The infected man visited a number of sites in Victoria, including Club Noble in Noble Park, Aces Sporting Club Keysborough, North Point Cafe in Brighton, Kmart Keysborough, Coles Springvale and Bunnings Springvale.

Andrews said everyone who may have been exposed to the virus must get tested first thing in the morning, with testing sites open from 8am to meet demand. Authorities are also speaking to the man’s close contacts and some will be tested overnight.

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