Questions have been asked about how it took health authorities one week to confirm that a person who returned a ‘weak positive’ test result actually had COVID-19.

A hotel quarantine worker reportedly attended a party in Coburg on Saturday 6th February.

However, the party venue was not listed as an exposure site by the health department until Friday. On Sunday, it was confirmed that a three-year-old and a woman in her 50s had also tested positive to the virus.

The new positive cases bring the number of cases linked to the Holiday Inn cluster to 16.

Health authorities now say that they are confident that they have kept the virus from spreading further from the Coburg event.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that the venue had not been a site of concern because the quarantine worker had returned a negative test result.

“We now know with laboratory testing of the sample that it was a weak positive,” Dr Sutton said on Sunday.


“When you’ve got a negative test the day after an event, it’s not in scope as an exposure for someone who is potentially infectious because you don’t imagine them to be infectious.”

The chief health officer went on to explain that it is “unusual” for someone to return a negative test before when they are, in fact, positive to the virus.

Everybody who attended the venue has now been identified and contacted by health authorities.

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