More than 50 staff, patients and visitors at the Geraldton Health Campus on Sunday evening have been placed into isolation this morning – more than three days after they spent three hours sharing the emergency department with a COVID-infected seafarer. When the incident was announced yesterday by WA Country Health Service, authorities said the 25 staff, 18 patients and 8 visitors would be regularly tested but would not be required to self-isolate. Premier Mark McGowan announced that decision had been reversed this morning, although he insisted the risk to the Geraldton community over the past three days was “miniscule”. “Out of an abundance of caution, all staff have been tested and will quarantine until they return a negative result,” Mr McGowan said. “Upon returning a negative result, those staff members will be able to return to work but they'll be required to wear masks at all times when working and take every precaution. “They'll also undergo daily saliva tests. They'll be swabbed and tested again on day seven. If they again test negative, they'll no longer be required to undergo daily saliva tests but continue to wear masks and then will undertake a final day 11 test ahead of being cleared by public health after 14 days.” Mr McGowan said patients and staff in the ED at the time a crew member was transferred into the hospital from the MV Emerald Indah on Sunday night would also now be required to isolate until returning a negative test and would be tested again on day 7 and 11. “These people are considered extremely low risk, and because we've acted early on, would not be infectious,” he said. “But after the sacrifices West Australians have made over the past week, I don't want to see our progress undone.” He said all of the initial tests were being completed “urgently”. The Geraldton COVID testing clinic will remain open until 8pm this evening and the Health Department is now reviewing protocols at all of its major regional hospitals. Two “medical experts” have also been flown from Perth to Geraldton to help manage the situation. Mr McGowan said he had not been advised of any impact on the operation of Geraldton Hospital by the forced isolation of 25 staff. He also revealed the sick crewman, in his 50s, was in intensive care in Perth. “So it was a very sick crew member who probably would have died but for the fact the ship pulled up at Geraldton harbour and he was unloaded,” the Premier said. “Obviously it was unexpected. It was nothing that could have been predicted but clearly, I'd like to see the precautions and arrangements put in place more effectively in the future when these sorts of things occur.” The MV Emerald Indah was cleared to leave WA waters and return to Indonesia by the Australian Marine Safety Authority last night, ending days of uncertainty over the vessel which had been attempting to collect 50,000 tonnes of wheat from Kwinana.