A second security guard at a Melbourne hotel housing quarantined travellers has been diagnosed with coronavirus even as the hospitality industry prepares to welcome healthy guests.
The worker at Rydges on Swanston was confirmed on Thursday to have the virus, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says.
A day earlier, the health department announced the first worker at the hotel had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“They are security staff who had come down with illness,” Professor Sutton said.
“There wasn’t much overlap in their working schedules but there is the possibility that they have overlapped at some point.”
Although the staff didn’t do direct care work, Professor Sutton said they would accompany people going out for fresh air while wearing safety gear.
The hotel is shut to the public.
“Rydges has 13 people who have current active disease, and there are three others who are in quarantine there that are their close contacts,” Prof Sutton said.
Close contacts of the workers have been told and all staff are being offered testing.
Victoria has 65 active cases out of a total 1628.
Of the 10 new cases on Thursday, six are household contacts, including five from the same home, and three are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Prof Sutton warned there may be more people diagnosed with COVID-19 in coming days from the “big household”.
Tourism Accommodation Australia Victoria general manager Dougal Hollis said the industry was preparing for overnight stays from June 1, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
“They can’t wait to welcome guests back,” he told AAP.
“When doing so, it’s important that returning guests have confidence that they will be safe and not exposed to undue health risks. This is a responsibility that hoteliers take very seriously.”
The Crown Promenade and Crown Metropol hotels have been housing returned Australian travellers in quarantine, but they are keen to welcome traditional guests back, a Crown Resorts spokeswoman said.
Pan Pacific Melbourne has also been housing returned travellers and will open up the full range of the hotel’s amenities in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, 300 workers returned to work on Thursday at an abattoir at the centre of Victoria’s largest coronavirus cluster.
The cluster of infected workers and their close contacts ballooned to 111 cases, and kept the meatworks shut for weeks.
No new cases have been linked to the meatworks since May 22.
Australian Associated Press