19 July 2021

COVID-19 update 19 July 2021: BBC California vessel

The Department of Health can confirm that all eight symptomatic crew members from the BBC California vessel have tested positive for COVID-19. The tests were undertaken this morning via rapid PCR testing.

The crew and shipping agent have now been informed.

The remaining six crew on-board the vessel, who are not symptomatic, will now be tested for COVID-19 this afternoon. They will also receive serology tests to see if they have previously had the virus.

The same process that was successfully used this morning will be undertaken, with the six crew members disembarking the vessel following all recommended infection prevention and control measures including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and observing safe distancing, before being taken into a purpose-made swabbing station for a COVID-19 swab.

The swabbing and testing will be conducted by experienced PathWest staff in full PPE, and the process will be continuously monitored by Infection Prevention and Control staff. The crew will then immediately return to the vessel.

The Department is working closely with the Captain, shipping agent, vessel owner, WA Police, Fremantle Ports and Commonwealth agencies to manage the vessel and the crew.

For now, the vessel will remain berthed at Fremantle Port with all crew members remaining on-board. However, medical assistance will be provided to crew if required.

Every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of port workers and the WA community.


  • The vessel will not be loaded.
  • These eight cases will be included in tomorrow’s case count.

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