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Melbourne’s second wave ‘patient zero’ may not have been a security guard

A night duty manager at a quarantine hotel, not a poorly trained or misbehaving security guard, may have been patient zero in Victoria’s second COVID-19 wave.

Leaked emails out of the Department of Jobs, the government department responsible for quarantine security, obtained by The Age, reveal the first person to be infected with coronavirus in the hotels was not a guard.

The worker was a night shift manager at the Rydges on Swanston hotel, who started showing symptoms on May 25.

It’s believed he caught COVID-19 from a quarantined traveller in the hotel.

Investigative journalist at The Age, Richard Baker, said by the time the worker began to show symptoms, it was too late.

The man was put into isolation on May 26, and seven security guards and health workers who were identified as close contacts were identified.

Five of the seven later tested positive to COVID-19.

“The floodgates opened,” Mr Baker told Ross and Russel.

“To me it seems like a pretty innocent explanation of how that all started.”

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