WA has 51 new COVID-19 cases, one death

Michael Ramsey |

A man in his 70s who contracted COVID-19 in the community has died in Western Australia as the state’s Omicron outbreaks grows by another 51 local cases.

The man, who had some underlying medical conditions and is believed to have been unvaccinated, died at Joondalup Hospital.

He is believed to have acquired the virus while attending an event at the North Beach Bowls Club in Perth’s northern suburbs.

It is the second death of a person in WA who acquired the virus locally since the start of the pandemic, and the first related to the current outbreak.

WA Health on Friday said it had no record of the man having been vaccinated, adding that the death was not connected to the Juniper aged care outbreak.

Premier Mark McGowan expressed his condolences to the man’s family and urged people to get vaccinated.

“Today’s development confirmed what we, as a community, have been planning for,” he told reporters.

“Omicron is here and if you are not fully vaccinated, the virus can find you and it can have tragic consequences.”

Mr McGowan said the man had been in and out of intensive care and on a ward at Joondalup Hospital.

The 51 local cases reported by WA Health on Friday is a record for the state, which also posted 48 cases related to interstate and overseas travellers.

One million West Australians have now had their third vaccine dose, representing 49 per cent of the eligible population.

Eight people, including six residents and two staff, have so far tested positive at Juniper’s Cygnet residential care home in Bentley.

All cases and their close contacts are in quarantine.

Mr McGowan said he expected more cases to emerge from the facility, which accommodates people living with dementia and has been indefinitely closed to visitors.

Juniper chief executive Chris Hall said efforts were being made to ensure residents could maintain connections with their loved ones during the lockdown.

The source of the outbreak remains under investigation but Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said she was confident staff were not working across multiple sites.

WA has 482 active cases with no one currently in hospital.