A second security guard who worked at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel while it was operating for people in quarantine from overseas has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The first case was announced on 17 August. An extensive investigation has been underway as to how the infection may have been acquired.
More than 700 contacts of that case have been tested to date. All have returned a negative result except the newly diagnosed security guard.
The newly diagnosed guard worked at the hotel on 3 August, 5 August, 9 August, 10 August and 11 August. Both guards worked at the hotel at the same time on just one occasion, 3 August.
The newly diagnosed guard also worked at the Sheraton Grand Hyde Park overnight on 16 August. As a precaution close contacts will be contacted and tested.
Contact tracing and investigations into the source of infection of the new case, including potential links to the previously reported case, are continuing. At this point there is no indication of additional risk to the community from the hotel.
NSW Health urgently tested the first guard’s virus sample using whole genome sequencing to see if it matched any virus strains in the community or from cases who had been hotel guests.
The results of the sequence testing showed that the first guard appears to have a strain of the COVID-19 virus similar to one identified in a guest staying at the hotel from 31 July to 5 August. The newly diagnosed guard does not appear to have had contact with this guest.
The strain identified in that testing is different to other strains circulating in NSW. This indicates that the first guard likely acquired the infection while at the hotel. The virus from the newly diagnosed case’s sample has also been sent for sequencing. Exactly how these infections were acquired is under investigation.
NSW Health is following up the test results of a small number of other staff who worked at the Marriott during the period of interest. The investigation to date has reassuringly not found evidence of an outbreak. NSW Health will continue to work closely with both security guards, the Police, hotel staff and other staff to investigate exactly how these infections may have been acquired.
The case was notified after today’s reporting period and will be included in tomorrow’s tally.