A Western Australian nurse who tested positive to COVID-19 while volunteering in Victoria has returned home with her six colleagues after making a full recovery.
Renee Freeman contracted the virus earlier this month after working in an aged care home in Melbourne as part of a team of WA volunteers.
She has since recovered and is clear of the virus after completing 14 days quarantine in the ‘Hotel for Heroes’ emergency accommodation.
Renee Freeman contracted the virus earlier this month after working in an aged care home in Melbourne as part of a team of WA volunteers
Her colleagues tested negative and also isolated in a separate Melbourne hotel.
WA’s Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed the group had returned home safely on a charter flight which returned directly to Perth.
‘These nurses, who all did a phenomenal job assisting the Victorian community, are now at home with their families,’ the department said in a statement.
All seven nurses are now considered to have completed their necessary isolation periods.
Health Minister Roger Cook had initially refused to rule out the prospect of the group spending a further two weeks in quarantine upon returning home.
The response angered the nurses’ union, which claimed the nurses were promised they would be airlifted home if one of them fell sick.
Ms Freeman was sent gifts while she was in hotel quarantine following her diagnosis
Deputy chief health officer Robyn Lawrence said the prospect of the nurses being airlifted home was discussed at their orientation but they were told it would come down to individual circumstances.
Ms Freeman will have further tests in WA before she is cleared to return to work.
Mr Cook said WA had sent a total of 19 nurses and three support staff to work across three Melbourne aged care homes.
The other two teams are nearing the end of their stints and further volunteers aren’t expected to be needed given the improved situation in Victoria.