coronavirus, coronavirus, COVID-19, hotel quarantine, COVID Canberra, repatriation flight

A person in hotel quarantine in the ACT has returned a “very, very low” positive test for COVID-19, but health authorities say they are confident the person isn’t actively infected. ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman on Monday said the person was in hotel quarantine in Canberra after being a passenger on the territory’s most recent repatriation flight from Chennai in India. Pacific Suites on Northbourne Avenue is currently the only place where hotel quarantine is happening and can happen in Canberra. The person, like others who boarded the flight, was due to be released from quarantine first thing on Tuesday morning. Ms Coleman said that was likely to happen, given authorities were confident the person tested positive because of an old and inactive infection. “We have completed our exit testing and one individual has come back with a very, very low positive result, which we are confident is consistent with an old infection, so that won’t be preventing them from leaving quarantine tomorrow morning,” Ms Coleman said on Monday. “We do know that people who have previously been infected can still shed intermittently the virus and that’s what gives us sometimes that positive sewage result that we see.” READ MORE: Ms Coleman, who was attending the Garran Surge Centre on Monday morning to witness the ACT’s first COVID-19 jab, said the weak positive test was based on only a couple of genetic locations. She said the person had tested positive to coronavirus back in December, before they arrived in Canberra on February 8, and had tested negative on their entry to hotel quarantine. Ms Coleman said authorities would run some final tests on Monday to make sure the person wasn’t a risk to the Canberra community. “If we have any doubts at all, they will not be released come tomorrow morning,” she said. “But at this point in time, this person is not infectious and does not pose any risk to the Australian community at all.” For faster access to the latest Canberra news, download The Canberra Times app for iOS and Android.

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February 22 2021 – 2:20PM

A person in hotel quarantine in the ACT has returned a “very, very low” positive test for COVID-19, but health authorities say they are confident the person isn’t actively infected.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman on Monday said the person was in hotel quarantine in Canberra after being a passenger on the territory’s most recent repatriation flight from Chennai in India.

Pacific Suites on Northbourne Avenue is currently the only place where hotel quarantine is happening and can happen in Canberra.

The person, like others who boarded the flight, was due to be released from quarantine first thing on Tuesday morning.

Ms Coleman said that was likely to happen, given authorities were confident the person tested positive because of an old and inactive infection.

“We have completed our exit testing and one individual has come back with a very, very low positive result, which we are confident is consistent with an old infection, so that won’t be preventing them from leaving quarantine tomorrow morning,” Ms Coleman said on Monday.

“We do know that people who have previously been infected can still shed intermittently the virus and that’s what gives us sometimes that positive sewage result that we see.”

Flight QF117 from Chennai to Canberra landing at Canberra Airport. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Ms Coleman, who was attending the Garran Surge Centre on Monday morning to witness the ACT’s first COVID-19 jab, said the weak positive test was based on only a couple of genetic locations.

She said the person had tested positive to coronavirus back in December, before they arrived in Canberra on February 8, and had tested negative on their entry to hotel quarantine.

Ms Coleman said authorities would run some final tests on Monday to make sure the person wasn’t a risk to the Canberra community.

“If we have any doubts at all, they will not be released come tomorrow morning,” she said.

“But at this point in time, this person is not infectious and does not pose any risk to the Australian community at all.”



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