More than 200 people who underwent hotel quarantine in Victoria have been urged to go get tested for HIV and other viruses after a testing stuff up resulted in possible cross-contamination.
Safer Care Victoria announced yesterday that 243 people who underwent blood glucose level tests while in coronavirus hotel quarantine between March 29 and August 20 could be at risk of contracting a blood borne virus after the same test was used on multiple people.
“Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents,” Safer Care Victoria said in a statement.
“This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and blood borne viruses – Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.”
A blood glucose level test involves pricking a finger to get a drop of blood to be used in the testing device.
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CEO Safer Care Victoria Adj Assoc Prof Ann Maree Keenan said the agency was conducting a review to figure out how the stuff-up occurred.
“The health of past quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so arranging screening for them is our absolute priority. The clinical risk is low. But if you are at all worried you had this test – and we have not contacted you yet – please call us,” Prof Keenan said.
“Right now, we won’t be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened. Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use.
“I hope that we will be able to bring peace of mind through getting people in for testing, and through the findings of our review.”
If anyone is concerned they had this test but have not yet been contacted they can call the Safer Care Patient line on 1800 356 061.
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Former Labor leader Bill Shorten weighed in on Victoria’s latest hotel quarantine stuff-up.
Speaking on the Today show on Tuesday, Mr Shorten said the mistakes occurring in Victoria “are not good enough”.
Mr Shorten said this was a timely reminder that people still needed to “keep our guard up against the old nasties we know about”.
“It must be really stressful and worrying for the people who have gone through this. I hope that they can get the tests results back as quick as possible,” he said.
Health Minister Martin Foley addressed the testing stuff-up at a press conference this morning, clarifying that the needles used in the test were changed between each use by the device was not changed, despite it being meant for repeated used by one person, not multiple people.
“I need to stress that this is, according to all the clinical advice, a very, very low risk of cross contamination but, out of an abundance of caution, Safer Care Victoria and the Alfred Hospital are doing precisely the right thing in a very risk-averse way of seeking to