Western Australia can be “more ambitious” in easing COVID-19 restrictions after a testing program of asymptomatic frontline workers detected no cases, the health minister says.
Roger Cook said the DETECT Snapshot program wrapped up last week and more than 18,500 test results had been returned so far, showing no coronavirus in those samples.
“DETECT Snapshot, I think, should provide the community with great confidence … that we’ve got no undetected transmission of the disease in WA,” Mr Cook told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr Cook said the results also assisted the state government as it planned to move into phase four restrictions in the coming weeks.
“It obviously gives us more confidence to be bolder and to be more ambitious, even more so than we currently are,” he said.
“We’ve eased restrictions ahead of all the other states (and) to a greater extent.
“With DETECT Snapshot in our back pocket, that gives us further confidence that we can go even further in relation to phase four.”
Full results of the DETECT Snapshot program will be released after all of the information is collated.
Of the test results available so far, 61 per cent were healthcare workers, 12 per cent were school staff and 10 per cent came from the retail sector.
A testing program at 40 public schools, which is run by the Telethon Kids Institute, also started last week for staff and students.
WA recorded no new coronavirus cases overnight, leaving the state’s total at 602.
There are just two active cases remaining in WA and none in hospital.