Grand Chancellor lockdown: Fears COVID spreading again

 

Queensland has one new case of COVID-19, but it is likely historical and not connected to the case of a doctor at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital who tested positive, the state's health authorities say.

Three close contacts of the doctor tested negative overnight.

The doctor assessed two coronavirus patients on Wednesday at the Woolloongabba hospital, then tested positive late on Friday.

Brisbane's Hotel Grand Chancellor is also in lockdown as authorities investigate whether an overseas case announced yesterday was caught in quarantine.

The hotel will temporarily halt the arrival of visitors while inquires are undertaken.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said the hotel quarantine case tested positive on day 12 of quarantine.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital at Woolloongabba. Picture: NCA NewsWire /Jono Searle
The Princess Alexandra Hospital at Woolloongabba. Picture: NCA NewsWire /Jono Searle

"This is not related at all to the previous event at the Hotel Grand Chancellor," Ms Bennett said.

"We want to rule out that there's been any transmission in hotel because it's one of a number of possible options to explain the case identified yesterday," she said.

"It either could be that they had a late incubation period which we know is possible, it may be they have a similar source from overseas or it may be there's a transmission in hotel quarantine."

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said it was not on the same floor, nor was the sequencing the same as the last Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster.

"What we know is case one is the person brought into the (PA) hospital on the 9th of March, case two was the doctor who got it off the person who came in on the 9th, and case three is a person in hotel quarantine on the same floor as case one," Ms D'Ath said.

No guests who were due to leave the hotel will be allowed to leave until the enquiries are finalised.

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at a press conference on Sunday morning. Picture: John Gass
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at a press conference on Sunday morning. Picture: John Gass

More than 200 community contacts of the Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor have been identified, with authorities in the process of testing them as well.

There were 61 staff and seven patients at the hospital who were identified as potential close contacts.

Genomic sequencing is yet to confirm if the doctor's case is linked to the UK variant.

Ms D'Ath responded to the claims of the Australian Medical Association that "inadequate" PPE was to blame for the doctor's positive COVID-19 test.

Ms D'Ath said it was "not helpful to speculate or make accusations".

"We will go through an investigation into how this transmission occurred," she said.

Queensland faces a "critical" 36 hours as authorities investigate the potential spread of the UK strain of COVID-19 in Brisbane.

The doctor tested positive after working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital tested positive on Friday.

On Thursday she visited West End's Morning After Cafe between 2pm and 3.15pm before attending the Corporate Box Gym at Greenslopes between 5.45pm and 7pm. She later attended the Stones Corner Hotel on Logan Rd from 7pm to 7.45pm.

Deputy chief health officer Sonya Bennett talks to the media with Health Minister Yvette D’Ath. Picture: John Gass
Deputy chief health officer Sonya Bennett talks to the media with Health Minister Yvette D’Ath. Picture: John Gass

Authorities say anybody who visited those locations at the same time should immediately quarantine home.

The doctor also attended the McDonald's drive-through between 3.10am and 3.20am on Thursday, however it is considered a low-risk site

Deputy Chief Health Officer said the doctor, who was not vaccinated, wore "appropriate PPE" during her work. It has raised questions about how she became infectious.

In response to the case, the president of the Australian Medical Association said the Queensland Government needed to "do much better".

In a tweet on Saturday afternoon, Dr Omar Khorshid said "Qld doctor exposed to #COVID, did all the right things with no breach of PPE protocols and still tests positive. Clearly PPE inadequate".

"COVID transmission to quarantine and health workers is now COMPLETELY preventable with proper PPE and vaccines. No excuses," he tweeted.

A quarantine hotel worker in Sydney tests positive for COVID-19, NSW's first local case in 55 days.

Testing of close contacts is under way after the person, who works at two Sydney hotels which provide hotel quarantine for returned travellers.

NSW Health was notified late on Saturday night of the new case.


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