A plan is being finalised to bring home a WA nurse who contracted coronavirus while volunteering to work in Victoria during its COVID-19 outbreak, with the premier describing the situation as “traumatic and concerning”.

The woman is among a team of seven who were working in aged care when she returned a positive test for coronavirus, forcing them all into hotel quarantine in Melbourne.

The Australian Nursing Federation has demanded they be flown home as soon as possible, saying it is unacceptable to expect them to complete two weeks in quarantine in Melbourne then face another fortnight in Perth.

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WA Premier Mark McGowan said he was sympathetic to their situation and the Health Department was working with the nurses to finalise a plan for their return home.

“Obviously it’s very traumatic and concerning for the families and the individuals involved,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“The nurses themselves have done the right thing by Australia, and by Victoria and by Western Australia.

“They have been heroic in what they’ve done, gone over to serve their fellow citizens in a difficult environment, and they deserve all of our thanks.

“We are currently working through with the nurses and their families exactly what can be done, what should be done and what is in their interests.”

Health Minister Roger Cook will announce those arrangements later on Wednesday.

Mr Cook said on Tuesday that the infected nurse was self-isolating in a special hotel for frontline health workers, while the others were isolating in a different Melbourne hotel.

“I’m informed the nurse has mild symptoms, such as a dry cough, but is otherwise fairly comfortable,” he told reporters.

Originally published as How to bring heroic nurse home

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