Freemason’s Hotel in Geraldton listed as exposure site

Jake DietschGeraldton Guardian
Cafe Fleur manager Hazel Forman serves food on the first day of Geraldton's mask mandate.
Camera IconCafe Fleur manager Hazel Forman serves food on the first day of Geraldton's mask mandate. Credit: Jake Dietsch/Geraldton Guardian/RegionalHUB

A Geraldton cafe has joined three local pubs as venues listed on the Health Department’s COVID exposure site list.

The four Geraldton venues listed are Cafe Fleur, Freemasons, Old Man and the Sea and the Geraldton Hotel, for certain periods of time last Thursday, February 17 and Saturday, February 19.

Freemason’s Hotel was added to the Health Department’s list on Monday, but a new potential time of exposure at that venue was updated on Tuesday evening.

As well as that pub, The Old Man and the Sea rooftop bar and The Geraldton Hotel were also added on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, Cafe Fleur was listed.

People at these venues at the relevant times are asked to monitor for symptoms unless directly advised otherwise by the department. If symptoms develop, they should get tested and isolate.

A view towards the marina from the Old Man and the Sea.
Picture: Zoe Keenan The Geraldton Guardian
Camera IconA view towards the marina from the Old Man and the Sea. Zoe Keenan The Geraldton Guardian Credit: Zoe Keenan/The Geraldton Guardian

Cafe Fleur

Saturday, February 19, 10.30am to 11.30am

Freemason’s Hotel

Saturday, February 19, 6pm to 9.30pm

Thursday, February 17, 7pm to 8.30pm

Old Man and the Sea Rooftop Bar

Thursday, February 17, 6pm to 7pm

The Geraldton Hotel

Thursday, February 17, 4.30pm to 6pm

For the full list of WA’s COVID exposure sites visit Healthy WA.

159 years of development has happened in and around The Geraldton Hotel.
Camera Icon159 years of development has happened in and around The Geraldton Hotel. Credit: Edward Scown/Geraldton Guardian

COVID HAS ARRIVED

The first night of the Mid West’s indoor mask mandate has already seen a COVID scare, in what doctors say is “just the beginning” of COVID’s arrival.

Geraldton’s historic Freemason’s Hotel was listed as a low-risk exposure site by WA Health on Monday night.

Anyone who was at the Marine Terrace venue on Saturday night, from 6pm to 9.30pm, is urged to monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, to get tested and isolate.

As of publication there was no requirement for those people to isolate unless they were symptomatic.

Geraldton's historic Freemason's Hotel.
Camera IconGeraldton's historic Freemason's Hotel. Credit: Wikipedia

Besides the mask mandate, at the time of print other level one restrictions were not yet introduced in the Mid West, such as 75 per cent capacity limits for venues, the 2sqm rule and caps on home gatherings and nightclub numbers.

Dr Ian Taylor from Panaceum Seacrest in Geraldton said the exposure meant COVID “has arrived” as expected.

“This is just the beginning of a process that as a State we have to go through. It’s all part of us getting through the peak and living with COVID,” Dr Taylor said.

Dr Taylor said the restrictions and mask mandates were “essential” to keep the COVID curve relatively flat and avoid “smashing” the hospital system.

“Our best defence is to be vaccinated and take sensible precautions by following health advice, wearing masks, sanitising our hands and checking in,” he said.

“I don’t believe we should dramatically alter our lifestyles. If you want to go out for dinner, you should.

“We need to take all the precautions we can without becoming hermits because going into a pseudo lockdown and not going anywhere is not going to help our economy.”

Dr Taylor said the hospitals and GP clinics across Geraldton had done a lot work to prepare for COVID’s arrival and were as prepared as possible.

Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was “always inevitable” COVID-19 would “make its way to Geraldton”.

“I just hope people who were at the exposure site at the time, monitor for symptoms as advised,” Mr Van Styn said.

“If need be, conduct a test to ensure they don’t’ have COVID.”

The mayor said on Tuesday morning the City had not been advised beyond the listing of the exposure site, but expected more advice to come through from WA Health throughout the week.

“It was invariably going to come to Geraldton. It’s a coincidence between the mask mandate and the arrival of coronavirus, but let’s take our information from the health authorities,” he said.

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