Hospitals and aged care and disability services in Greater Brisbane will be locked down for at least 72 hours after the discovery of the first locally transmitted coronavirus case in Queensland in 59 days.
Key points:A doctor came into contact with two patients carrying the UK strain on WednesdayAuthorities have released a list of “high risk” sites the doctor visited on ThursdayThere’s no need for the community to wear masks, but access is limited to vulnerable facilities
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Saturday morning after a female doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital returned a positive test.
The doctor worked with two COVID-19-positive patients on Wednesday, and was in the community on Thursday while possibly infectious.
She had not received the Pfizer vaccine, which began being rolled out in the hospital late last month.
The two patients, who had been in hotel quarantine, tested positive to the UK variant of COVID-19 and it was expected that the doctor would, too, Ms Palaszczuk said.
Health authorities released a list of potential exposure sites the doctor visited on Wednesday.
They include three “high-risk sites”:
Morning After cafe at West End 2.00pm to 3.15pmCorporate Box gym at Greenslopes 5.45pm to 7pmStones Corner hotel at Stones Corner 7.00pm and 7.45pm
McDonalds at Coorparoo has been identified as a low-risk site.
For the next three days, all essential visitors to hospital and other facilities for vulnerable people will be required to wear a mask, though there is no requirement for mask-wearing in the community, Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Queensland Premier says there’s no need for the general community to wear masks.(
ABC News: Sally Eeles
)Doctor not vaccinated
Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath said the doctor had not yet received the coronavirus vaccine, but defended the state’s record on administering doses to frontline health workers.
“We need to remind ourselves we’re only in week three of a national vaccination rollout,” Ms D’Ath said.
“There are millions and millions of Queenslanders and Australians still to be vaccinated. We have 37,000 people in the first group … all of these 37,000 people are equally important to each other.”
The Health Minister said more than 3,800 staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital were among that group, and 1,615 had already received the first dose of the vaccine.
“We’re on track. We are delivering exactly what we said we would in line with the national agreement. And in line with our own targets that we set ourselves.”
The hospital was placed into lockdown on Friday night, as contact tracers searched for patients, staff and families who may have been exposed.
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Deputy Chief Health Officer Sonya Bennett said the doctor came into contact with the cases during a shift early on Wednesday morning.
She woke with a sore throat on Friday morning and immediately isolated and got tested.
“It was a very quick chain of events and we really want to thank that doctor for coming forward quickly and getting tested,” Dr Bennett said.
“Whilst she wasn’t symptomatic while she was working at the hospital … there will be a big contact tracing operation underway at the PA Hospital.”
From Friday night, all non-essential visits to the hospital were banned, and any essential visitors and staff were required to wear a mask.
The Emergency Department is still open, but the people are urged to use other hospitals or a GP, if possible.
Non-urgent outpatient bookings and elective surgery have been postponed.
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