The first coronavirus positive patient has been evacuated from a Melbourne quarantine hotel after a sprinkler system caused extensive water damage.
They left the Holiday Inn "hot hotel" on Flinders Lane just before 10am and came out of the hotel with what appeared to be a rubbish bag over their head.
Then they boarded a SkyBus to be taken to the Pullman hotel in Albert Park. The patient was the only person on the bus.
The black rubbish bag could have been to protect their identity and help prevent the spread of infection.
The patient was assisted by a health worker dressed in full personal protective equipment and a face shield.
The Holiday Inn on Flinders Lane is the second Melbourne quarantine hotel to be evacuated in less than a week.
It is a "hot hotel", meaning every resident is either infected with coronavirus or symptomatic, and is being evacuated on Tuesday morning while repairs for water damage are completed.
Two other residents – a man carrying a young child – were also seen boarding the SkyBus just after 10am wearing just face masks.
A Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria spokeswoman said 31 residents and staff would be transferred to the Pullman Hotel in Albert Park.
The Pullman Hotel was previously used to quarantine Australian Open participants and was assessed at the most suitable hotel within the Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria program to house the infected guests.
The water damage was caused by a sprinkler system which activated without a fire occurring on the fourth floor of the Holiday Inn on Saturday.
It resulted in water damage to four of the eight floors at the hotel.
"Residents at the Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders are being transferred to an alternate health hotel on Tuesday," the spokeswoman said.
"After a review of the available options, the Pullman Albert Park Hotel was assessed by ventilation experts and determined as the most suitable hotel within CQV's current hotel stock to accommodate symptomatic and positive residents.
"Strict infection prevention and control measures will be followed during the transfer to ensure the health and safety of residents, staff and the community."
Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar said the fire system leaked or burst in a room that was unoccupied at the time.
The water then spread into and damaged the staffing areas.
She said on Saturday – before a decision was made to evacuate the hotel – that some residents were moved to higher levels of the Holiday Inn to avoid the damage.
It comes after 48 quarantining returned travellers at a different Holiday Inn hotel at Melbourne Airport were evacuated on Wednesday last week following an outbreak of cases.
That hotel was closed for "terminal cleaning" after an authorised officer, two food and beverage workers, another worker and two residents all contracted Covid-19 within the Holiday Inn.
The total number of Covid-19 cases linked to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn – the cluster that send Victoria back into a third lockdown – is now 19.
About 135 Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria staff were stood down and 48 residents were evacuated from the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn to the Pullman hotel Melbourne on February 10.