No new local coronavirus cases in Victoria after flight attendant tests positive

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Victoria has recorded no new local cases of COVID-19 after a Virgin Australia flight attendant tested positive for the virus, prompting authorities to contact passengers and crew members from five flights across three different states.

Flights to and from Melbourne are among those affected, and the cabin crew member also had an overnight layover in Melbourne, although they stayed in hotel isolation.

Five Virgin Australia flights have been affected by a positive COVID-19 case.Credit:Getty

Three cases were recorded in hotel quarantine in the 24 hours to midnight on Saturday.

Nearly 20,700 test results were processed in the past 24 hours and nearly 15,000 people received their vaccine doses.

Virgin confirmed on Saturday night the cabin worker returned a positive coronavirus reading after undertaking a rapid test result.

In a statement, the airline said the affected crew member is Sydney-based, and a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case from a known cluster in Sydney.

Virgin said the flight attendant is in isolation, and it is contacting all staff who are deemed close contacts. All would be asked to get tested and isolate.

Five flights across three different Australian states – Victoria, NSW, and Queensland – were affected by the crew member’s positive test result.

NSW Health on Saturday night issued a public health alert for the flights, saying all NSW passengers were being considered close contacts and must call its COVID-19 line (1800 943 553), get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.

Victoria’s Department of Public Health has also recorded all public areas of Melbourne Airport Terminal 2 and the terminal’s Axil Coffee Roasters as exposure sites between 6.30am and 7.30am on Saturday.

Terminal 3 is listed as being an exposure site between 5.20pm and 6.50pm on Friday and again on Saturday between 8am and 9am.

Anyone who visited between those hours is asked to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

The five Virgin flights affected

Friday, June 25:

  • VA939 Departed Sydney at 11.51am; arrived Brisbane at 1.25pm
  • VA334 Departed Brisbane at 2.59pm; arrived Melbourne at 5.16pm

Saturday, June 26:

  • VA827 Departed Melbourne at 9am; arrived Sydney at 10.14am
  • VA517 Departed Sydney at 11.14am; arrived Gold Coast at 12.40pm
  • VA524 Departed Gold Coast at 1.26pm; arrived Sydney 2.47pm

Virgin said the infected crew member was not aware they were a close contact of a positive case until after they completed their last flight on Saturday.

The airline said that the flights – with the exception of VA334 between Brisbane and Melbourne – were carrying a “limited number of passengers” due to NSW border restrictions, and facilitating “essential travel” only.

“The crew member also had an overnight layover in Melbourne on 25 June 2021, staying at the Holiday Inn Express Southbank,” Virgin said in its statement.

“While in Melbourne, the crew member remained in hotel isolation under prescribed COVID protocols for overnighting crew members from New South Wales.

“Any close contact team members will be removed from their rostered duties and will be required to isolate for a minimum of 14 days and test in accordance with appropriate state health protocols.”

The airline said it had asked that household members of close contact team members be tested for COVID-19 and isolate for a minimum 14 days in line with state health guidelines.

More to come

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