No new WA cases tied to infected truckies

Mark McGowan says the risk to the WA community is low from two COVID-infected interstate truckies.
Mark McGowan says the risk to the WA community is low from two COVID-infected interstate truckies.

Western Australia has recorded no further COVID-19 cases linked to two truck drivers who tested positive after travelling through three states.

The two drivers were tested as part of routine surveillance in NSW on Wednesday, but being essential workers were allowed to embark on their journey through Victoria and South Australia to WA, where they arrived on Thursday night.

They received their test results on Friday and their employer informed WA Health.

The drivers, aged 23 and 29, wore face masks and slept in their truck cabin after arriving in the Perth suburb of Kewdale.

Premier Mark McGowan says contact tracers have identified 20 close or casual contacts, two in Perth and the rest in regional WA. All are in isolation.

"Our health advisers have indicated that the risk from these two truck drivers is very low and everything is being done to manage the situation in accordance with the health protocols," he told reporters in Broome.

"The system we have in place worked ... obviously we'll continue to monitor and put in place every precaution to keep the West Australian community safe."

The premier reiterated that the pair had done nothing wrong.

"They have done a hard job in which they drive across Australia, doing long hours and delivering supplies to the communities of this country," he said.

"When they learnt that they were COVID-positive, they notified the relevant people immediately."

On Saturday, SA Health listed two petrol stations in Port Augusta and another two in Ceduna, where the drivers are believed to have stopped on their journey through the state.

Anyone who was at the locations at the specified times must quarantine for 14 days and undergo several COVID tests during that time.

Public health alerts have already been issued in WA for a BP Truckstop in Norseman, the IOR Petroleum Fuel Station in Widgiemooltha, the Shell Fuel Station in Southern Cross, and the Mobil roadhouse in Yellowdine.

Anyone who visited the venues during the listed times must get tested and isolate for 14 days, but broader restrictions have not been introduced in the state.

The testing regime that caught the men's infection, but also allowed them to travel with a test result pending, has been in place for more than a year.

"This is the first time, to the best of my knowledge, it's ever thrown up a positive case," Mr McGowan said.

The announcement came after Friday's national cabinet meeting, at which the WA premier defended his refusal to agree to drop borders once the nation achieved 70 per cent vaccination coverage.

"The whole idea that at 70 per cent vaccination you deliberately infect people, I just can't tolerate it," he told reporters.

Australian Associated Press