Officials say nine active cases of COVID in Australian Open quarantine
MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – One case of COVID-19 among those in quarantine before the Australian Open has been classified again, local health officials said on Sunday. It said that nine active cases were in the group of players and support staff observing isolation in Melbourne hotels.
Health officials previously said they were investigating some positive tests for evidence of “viral shedding”, where people who have had the virus continue to shed non-infectious remnants after they have recovered.
COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria also said in a statement that the one case of the virus acquired overseas reported on Sunday did not have links to the tennis Grand Slam.
Most of the 970 people in the Australian Open quarantine hotels have touched their second week of the isolation period, which lasts for 14 days. with the first arrivals due to be relaxed from lockdown on Friday.
Four players figured among the cases initially reported as being connected to the tennis but only Spain’s Paula Badosa has confirmed that she tested positive.
There was bad news for another player in quarantine early on Sunday when the International Tennis Federation rejected Dayana Yastremska’s application for her provisional suspension, over a doping violation sidelined.
It was found on Saturday that three of the nine cases of COVID-19 linked to the Australian Open to be from the more transmissible coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom.
Tournament director Craig Tiley told players in a letter on Saturday evening that the environment was not conducive for relaxing restrictions, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.
“After consultation with many of you, we have postponed the planned expansion of the cohorts,” Tiley wrote.
“Having more people in your cohort is no extra risk to the local community, because you are all in quarantine. But we want to minimise the risk to each of you and that’s why we have delayed the expansion and will continue to assess daily.”
Some of the fellow competitors urged them to show respect for the efforts the people of Melbourne had made to contain the virus.
On Sunday the state recorded an 18th straight day with no local transmissions, while Australia as a whole has gone without reporting a case in the community for at least nine of the last 10 days.