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Infected people were told to go to work if they weren’t showing symptoms

Asymptomatic Victorians awaiting the results of their coronavirus tests claim they were told to go to work if they were not identified as a close contact of a positive case.

One Melbourne worker who eventually tested positive received a letter advising that he could continue working if he had no symptoms.

The man went for a precautionary COVID-19 test on July 13 after one of his acquaintances thought they might have contracted the virus. 

However the pair were not deemed close contacts and he was told to go back to work, The Australian reported. 

‘If you do not have symptoms you can continue normal activities, unless you are a close contact of a known case,’ the letter from Monash Health said.   

‘If you have symptoms stay at home and isolate — do not attend school, work, go shopping or engage in any other activities.’ 

The acquaintance, a parent, returned a negative coronavirus test and the asymptomatic man continued working or a small Melbourne manufacturing firm after his test. 

He gave his employer the letter from Monash Health on Tuesday July 14 while waiting for his test result. He continued to work as he had no symptoms and was not identified as a close contact. 

The man’s boss told The Australian they were surprised by the advice but thought they would be in the clear as the acquainted person tested negative.  

‘We thought OK, that sounds reasonable. The person he decided to have a test for is negative and it (the letter) says go back (to work) if you’re asymptomatic. And two days later, he was declared positive.’ 

The man was at work when he was phoned about his positive test result. The factory was closed for deep cleaning and all his co-workers were sent for a COVID-19 test. 

The claims from the asymptomatic worker are vastly different to advice given out by Premier Daniel Andrews.

‘Every person who gets tested is provided with very clear instructions about staying at home and waiting until those results come through,’ he said two weeks ago.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website says Victorians must go straight home after they go for a test.

‘After your test go straight home. Stay at home and do not go to work while you wait for your results,’ the website says.

‘It usually takes between 1 and 3 days for your results to be returned to you.’

Victoria reported an additional 450 coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the number of active cases to 7,637.

Authorities are continuing to chase up hundreds of coronavirus-infected people who are not at home when they come knocking.

Victoria has had to ramp up its isolation check-ins by police, defence and health personnel on positive cases after people were repeatedly found not obeying isolation orders.

‘A thousand of those 1,150 people could be found where they were supposed to,’ Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Friday.

Mr Andrews said police would now determine if those 150-odd people were doing the wrong thing, with some potentially in the running for the government’s new $4,957 fine.

The fine is for those who fail to self-isolate after testing positive or being identified as a close contact.

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