A man working at a Perth hotel used for quarantining international arrivals has contracted coronavirus, taking the state’s tally to 553.
The 47-year-old man, who is employed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, is a close contact of someone self-isolating at the hotel and contact tracing is under way.
Premier Mark McGowan admitted he did not have the exact details about the man’s role at the hotel, but said all safety protocols had been adhered to.
“We do need to continue to treat the issue seriously and I think this case arising in an environment where we’ve had a number of days of zero cases reminds us that we’re not out of the woods yet,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr McGowan also defended his government’s COVID-19 road map for easing restrictions after some businesses expressed disappointment that they could not yet open while others could.
The premier said it was not possible to reopen everything at once.
“We had a new infection today and everyone was expecting no infections,” he said.
“We’ve been more forward leaning, more progressive, we’ve opened up more than any other state in Australia by a long way.
“But you just need to exercise some caution to make sure we don’t overstep the mark and then we have a spike in infections and we have to shut everything down again … that would be devastating.”
Meanwhile, WA public schools had an average attendance rate of 82 per cent on Monday.
Parents currently have the option of keeping their children at home but the policy will be reviewed later this week and could make attendance compulsory from next week.
“Parents and students and teaching staff indeed have voted with their feet to go back to school,” Mr McGowan said.
“We’ve provided as safe an environment as we possibly can.”
Four patients remain in hospital, including one in intensive care.
More than 200 people who have been quarantining on Rottnest Island will return to the mainland on Wednesday.
The premier said the island would remain available for COVID-19 quarantining.
From Monday, WA’s gathering limit will be lifted from 10 to 20, hospitality businesses can serve diners and some regional border changes will allow people to holiday within the state.
A further relaxation of the rules is expected under phase three, likely to start in mid-June.