Key points:The last coronavirus patient in WA’s hospitals no longer has the virusWA has recorded no new cases of coronavirus, leaving its total at 554The elective surgery rate will rise to at least 50 per cent from Monday
Premier Mark McGowan said the final remaining COVID-19 patient, who had been in intensive care, remained in hospital but had now recovered from the virus.
“We have no confirmed COVID-19 patients in our hospitals,” he said.
“The person who was in ICU up to yesterday remains in hospital, but is no longer positive for COVID-19. We wish that person very well in their recovery.
WA COVID-19 snapshotConfirmed cases so far: 554Recovered: 538Deaths: 9Total tests: 63,248
Latest information from the WA Health Department
“This is a significant achievement for our state.”
WA has reported no new cases of coronavirus overnight, leaving the state total at 554.
There are just seven active cases in the state.
More than 63,200 COVID-19 tests have been taken in WA to date, with more than 11,300 of them carried out in regional parts of the state.
More elective surgeries from Monday
The State Government has also announced plans to increase the number of elective surgeries undertaken from next week.
Mr McGowan said elective surgeries would increase to half the normal rate from next week after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting.
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WA had already resumed some elective surgeries to a rate of a quarter of the usual capacity at the end of April.
“Elective surgery will be ramped up to at least 50 per cent [from Monday] … of the normal elective surgery across all categories one, two and three,” the Premier said.
“Initially the focus will be on categories one and two, with special attention to those who have had a long wait and those that the Department [of Health] call ‘over boundary’ patients.”
Elective surgeries in WA are set to jump to half the normal rate from next week.(Pixabay, CC0)
Mr McGowan acknowledged how hard the surgery wait had been for some people, but praised their patience.
“People have been very, very understanding,” he said.
“Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be monitored over the next two weeks prior to a final decision to increase activity up to 75 per cent of normal capacity.”
Mr McGowan urged private and public hospitals to use PPE in line with “state and national clinical policy” to ensure state supplies were not compromised during the pandemic.
“The ultimate aim here is to get back to 100 per cent of our elective surgery as soon as we can,” he said.
“We’ll endeavour to do that as soon as it’s practical to do so.”
Eastern states FIFO workers wooed to WA
The WA Government has also announced a campaign to entice fly-in, fly-out workers from the eastern states to move to WA permanently, in a bid to capitalise on the number of workers forced to stay here during the pandemic.
The Government wants to convince interstate FIFO workers to stay and live in WA.(ABC News: James Carmody)
Mr McGowan said housing incentives were being considered to entice them to stay, as well as a directive for future industry recruitment to be focused more locally.
“During the pandemic hundreds of these workers, in fact thousands, from over east have moved to WA to quarantine and go to their jobs in operations on the mines,” Mr McGowan said.
“My Government will now examine opportunities to incentivise these people to remain in Western Australia.
“This is a huge opportunity … to get those people to come and live here with their families permanently and keep their incomes right here in WA.”
Businesses get safety plan to reopen
The WA Government’s COVID-19 safety plan, which businesses need to complete before opening next week, was made available on Thursday evening.
From Monday, businesses including cafes, restaurants, community facilities and libraries are allowed to reopen under a number of conditions and social distancing requirements.
Cafes, restaurants and pubs can reopen to dine-in customers next week under certain conditions.(ABC News: James Carmody)
Mr McGowan said despite the tight timeframe to complete the online plan, he expected businesses would manage to do so before opening their doors.
“It’s pretty straight forward, it’s not difficult,” he said.
“It just requires businesses to think about their hygiene and practice their sanitation practices — how they treat their workforce and how they treat their customers.”
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