11.10.2020 12:00 Age: 138 days

Important COVID-19 update for Port Hedland

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) can confirm that a vessel off Port Hedland, the Vega Dream, had a crew member transferred from the vessel and taken to Hedland Health Campus for clinical care overnight.

This crew member has returned a positive COVID-19 result via rapid test, and the sample is on its way to Perth to also be run in the laboratory. While a laboratory-confirmed positive result is anticipated, it is not a given. This result will be known tomorrow.

Based on the current information, the State Health Incident Coordination Centre has declared a new outbreak. This is a precautionary measure in the interests of safety and response and consistent with the Outbreak Management Plan. If the laboratory result is negative, the response will be stood down.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and new information is continuing to come to hand.

The WA Country Health Service, together with the Department of Health, would like to reassure the community that all relevant precautionary measures were implemented in line with infection, prevention and control standards.

The person is stable, isolated from general hospital population and has not had contact with the public.

The vessel has a crew of 20. The remaining 19 seafarers remain on the Vega Dream, and in line with standard maritime procedures, have not disembarked or had contact with public.

The Vega Dream is fully loaded with iron ore and must leave its berth in the port by 1500 today. The future movement of the vessel and whether it will sail, or anchor offshore, will be determined by the shipping agent and Pilbara Ports Authority, in line with public health advice.