'I think they're quite proud': Nurse off to join Victoria COVID fight

Nurse Troy James admits to feeling apprehensive about heading to Victoria.
Nurse Troy James admits to feeling apprehensive about heading to Victoria.

The threat of contracting COVID-19 is a risk West Australian nurse Troy Jones is prepared to take as he joins Victoria's fight against the pandemic.

Mr Jones is one of more than 80 WA healthcare workers who have volunteered to fly to Victoria as the state grapples with hundreds of new cases per day.

He and four other nurses flew out of Perth on Friday to join a coordination team that had departed earlier in the week.

They will be away for up to six weeks and will head straight to the residential aged care facilities where there have been significant breakouts.

Mr Jones admits to feeling apprehensive, with healthcare workers particularly vulnerable to infection, but says he didn't hesitate to put his hand up.

"I just felt that if Western Australia was in that situation and my parents were in situations like Victorian families find their relatives in, then I would want and I would hope for help," he said.

Roger Cook has paid tribute WA healthcare workers who have volunteered to help in Victoria.

Roger Cook has paid tribute WA healthcare workers who have volunteered to help in Victoria.

"We are in a position where we can do that - myself and my four very brave colleagues - so that's what we're doing.

"I think my family is quite concerned. But they're very supportive, they understand this is something we feel we can help with and I think they're quite proud."

Health minister Roger Cook paid tribute to the nurses, who will take their own supplies of personal protective equipment with them.

"I'm in awe of both their professionalism and their commitment," he said.

"Where they're going today will not be easy. They will be going straight into places of greatest need - residential aged care.

"They are also saying goodbye to families and friends for at least a month."

Other healthcare workers with a range of specialities are expected to fly to Victoria in small groups in coming weeks.

It comes as WA on Friday recorded one new case, with a 39-year-old man testing positive after returning home from overseas.

The state now has four active cases.

Australian Associated Press