Coronavirus crisis: Asymptomatic education, transport and tourism workers in expanded COVID-19 testing criteria

Peter De KruijffThe West Australian
Health minister Roger Cook.
Camera IconHealth minister Roger Cook. Credit: Nic Ellis/Kalgoorlie Miner

WA’s COVID-19 asymptomatic testing regime will be expanded to education staff, transport workers and the tourism sector.

About 3000 tests in the police, healthcare, meat works, retail and hospitality sectors have been completed since Thursday as part of the DETECT survey to see whether there is community transmission in WA.

The expansion of the scheme came as WA recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight.

There are still 29 active cases including two people who are being treated in hospital.

Minister for Health Roger Cook said the testing would be voluntary for workers from the eligible sectors.

“Importantly it provides the WA community with even more evidence we are on top of this virus,” he said.

Mr Cook said he would have preferred last night’s Black Lives Matter rally in Forrest Place had observed physical distancing practices but he understood people had felt the need to protest the issue.

The minister said he felt police had exercised appropriate discretion and applied common sense to not breaking up the event because of current emergency restrictions.

At the same time, however, Mr Cook said the first café to be hit with a fine for operating with too many customers had been given plenty of chances to stick to the 20-person limit rule.

“That particular restaurant was provided with plenty of opportunities to correct the number of people they had under that roof,” he said.

“People need to make sure they focus carefully on the rules, the rules are there for a reason.”

Mr Cook also responded to an overture from West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson for WA’s hard border to be relaxed for AFL teams.

The minister said the government was not going to make exemptions for football players.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails