Melbourne hotel quarantine staff test negative after preliminary positive COVID swabs

A nurse and a police officer working at a Melbourne quarantine hotel have tested negative to coronavirus after initially returning positive preliminary COVID-19 tests.

The positive preliminary saliva swabs led to 41 other workers at the Holiday Inn hotel on Flinders Street being stood down while they awaited their own test results.

The Holiday Inn on Flinders, one of two “hot” hotels that house coronavirus-positive patients.Credit:Luis Ascui

The Department of Health and Human Service’s outbreak squad visited the hotel on Sunday and areas where the nurse and police officer worked have been cleaned.

Health authorities confirmed on Monday that subsequent tests had come back negative.

The Alfred Health nurse worked in a "front of house" role at the hotel and was responsible for checking temperatures on those arriving there. She wore full personal protective equipment and a face shield.

The Victoria Police officer worked as a floor monitor.

Alfred Health stood down 36 staff at the hotel as a precaution, including 33 nurses and three cleaning staff, and at least four other Victoria Police members were put into isolation after dining with the officer who returned the positive saliva swab.

The Holiday Inn in Melbourne's CBD is being used as a "hot" hotel to quarantine COVID-19 positive returning travellers.

Transmission of the virus between returning travellers and private security guards in May and June last year sparked Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19, causing hundreds of deaths and months of hard lockdowns.

Further comment is being sought from DHHS and Victoria Police.

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