Organisers of the state’s much-debated hotel quarantine system reportedly held a party to celebrate their success in containing the deadly virus days before it escaped the program.

According to the Herald Sun, 60 staff from COVID Quarantine Victoria attended the party, which was held in an outdoor area at the View Hotel.

Days later, a 26-year-old colleague was confirmed to have tested positive to the virus, the organisers have since confirmed that the did not attend the event.

All staff have returned negative COVID tests and are not considered close contacts to the man.

The event has thrown into question rules around contact between quarantine staff members both in and out of work.

Employees working in the state’s hotel quarantine system must adhere to strict ‘bubbles’ to limit the amount of contact between staff.

However outside of work, staff members are free to be in close contact with all other workers. The question of whether staff bubbles should also apply outside of work has now been raised.

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COVID Quarantine Victoria told the Herald Sun that the “small outdoor function” was organised to thank team leaders and managers for their efforts in facilitating the quarantine approach for the upcoming Australian Open.

No further cases of community transmission have been found since the man’s positive test result was confirmed. 15 of his 17 household and primary contacts have also now returned negative results with health authorities expecting to receive the final two results today.

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