A sex worker from the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne disappeared for hours after testing positive for COVID-19 as health authorities waited to question her.
The St Kilda woman, who is homeless, presented to an emergency service earlier this week where she returned a positive coronavirus test.
A close contact also tested positive and the two were placed in quarantine. It’s still unclear how the duo contracted the virus.
A St Kilda woman disappeared for hours after testing positive for Covid, with fears over new exposure sites in the area (stock image)
Victoria’s COVID-19 commander, Jeroen Weimar, confirmed there was a short window during which contact tracers did not know where the woman had been.
“One of these people went unattended for a short time but came back to the emergency room and since then has been taken care of safely,” he told reporters on Friday.
Mr Weimar allayed fears that her absence could lead to other exposure sites, ensuring that public authorities knew where she was during those “short hours”.
He expressed sympathy for the sex worker, saying it was understandable that some infected people find it difficult to divulge intimate details to contact tracers.
Victoria’s COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar (pictured) said there was a window of time when contract tracers did not know where she was
“Nobody wants to be COVID positive. Nobody wants to be in a situation where all of a sudden the lights are on you and you’re being asked to explain what you’ve done and where you’ve been,” he said .
“It’s incredibly painful and you have a dangerous disease. It’s a bad place to live.
“Of the 300 people currently active with COVID, we can only extend to them our sympathy and encouragement for them to get better.”
With the growth of the Melbourne cluster, a pop-up testing facility has been set up (pictured), with many lining up to get tested
The St Kilda woman is among four cases linked to the outbreak in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, with two other infections announced on Friday.
Four other cases also emerged from an illegal engagement party in Caulfield North last week. This outbreak, known as the St Kilda East cluster, infected 11 people.
Authorities continue to urge anyone who has visited any of the more than 20 exposure sites in St Kilda to come forward for testing.
Authorities are urging people in the area to come forward and get tested (stock image)