More than 100 possibly exposed in 12 hours

Health authorities have scrambled to contact more than 100 people who came into contact with the infected NSW hotel guard during a 12-hour window.

NSW Health officials are scrambling to contact more than 100 colleagues of a security guard who was infectious with COVID-19 during a 12-hour shift at a quarantine hotel during the weekend.

The 47-year-old man, who received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, tested positive on Saturday night – marking the first local case of COVID-19 in the state in 55 days.

The man has a full-time job in an office but also works as a security guard on weekends at the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney’s CBD as well as the Mantra at Haymarket.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said contact tracers were urgently contacting people who worked in the same hotel as the man on Friday night.

“In terms of where this person acquired (the virus), as the Minister (Brad Hazzard) indicated, this gentleman, who works in our hotel quarantine systems, generally works on the weekend,” she said.

“(He was) was infectious while doing a shift and we have contacted around 130 people who worked from 7pm on Friday night to 7am on Saturday, overlapping that March 12 to March 13 (window).

“We are asking those individuals to immediately self-isolate and get a test. Basically, that allows us time to work through and ascertain the nature of interaction that this security guard had with those quarantine workers.

“We have a system where people (use) QR codes when they sign into work, and that presents a very effective way for us to reach out to those individuals.

“They will be followed up by a phone call, so that information has gone out to those individuals.”

Four household contacts of the 47-year-old man have recorded negative results.

Contact tracers are also racing to determine whether any colleagues at the man’s full-time job were exposed

“This gentleman does have another workplace, and we are just looking at that,” Dr Chant said on Sunday.

“The advice we have had is generally that person resides in an office-based setting, but we are checking with various key cards and other things to track the movements and identify the potential.”

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