While other leaders expressed their condolences to Albanian on social media after news of his positive test emerged after 6 p.m. Thursday, several Labor sources noted that the situation would have been worse if diagnosed in the week before the election. would come from 21 May.
The positive result means Albanians will isolate themselves, while Morrison can continue to tour the country to win crucial votes in what is shaping up as a tight election.
“Following a routine PCR test this afternoon prior to interstate travel to Western Australia, I got a positive result for COVID tonight,” Albanian said in a statement Thursday evening.
“I tested regularly as part of my election campaign duties. I will be in isolation at home in Sydney for the next 7 days and will continue to follow health guidelines and advice.”
Albanian said he would continue to campaign from home as he recovers from the virus.
“I’m grateful to know that, thanks to Medicare, I have access to the world’s best healthcare when I need it,” he said.
“I’m feeling fine so far – and I thank everyone for their get well wishes.”
The Labor leader has had regular PCR tests, but had not tested positive for a RAT. A spokesperson confirmed that he is currently asymptomatic.
Unlike Morrison, Albanian has not had COVID before. Labor had prepared for it to happen during the campaign and the leadership team will meet on Thursday evening to decide what contingency plan to put in place from Friday.
Albanian campaigned Thursday in the fringe NSW south coast seat of Gilmore, where Labor First MP Fiona Phillips faces a challenge from former NSW Secretary of State Andrew Constance.
He visited Manildra’s ethanol distillery in Nowra, where he fueled Labour’s focus on clean energy to create jobs, before stopping at a local retirement home to meet and greet residents.
Uniting NSW.ACT said it was made aware of Albanian’s positive test after he visited Symons House.
“Uniting ensures that 100 percent of our employees and contractors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Keith Morgan, Uniting’s chief of village services. “Staff and residents of Uniting’s Symons House in Nowra will take precautions, including testing, cleaning and checking for symptoms.”
Labor climate spokesman Chris Bowen, who also had COVID, sent a message of condolences. “As someone who is a few days ahead of you on the COVID journey, my advice is to rest,” he said on social media. Other MPs wished Albanians the best.
However, there was no sympathy from the Liberal party. “Don’t endanger Australia’s border security by outsmarting Albanian and Labour,” LNP Queensland’s official Twitter account said about an hour after news of the positive test was announced.
A week before the campaign was called, The Sun Herald and The Sunday Era spoke to seven senior Labor MPs about contingencies to try and manage the situation should the leader become ill.
No one would officially speak as they were not authorized to do so, but MPs confirmed the campaign had been playing a war game on what to do if Mr Albanian got COVID.
According to the plans, senior shadow ministers, including Richard Marles, Penny Wong, Jim Chalmers and Mark Butler, would play a more prominent role if Albanian were sidelined and taken on the task of serving as the party’s lead spokesperson on any given day. , depending on what the problem might be.