Health authorities say “all protocols were followed” when a woman in Brisbane hotel quarantine accompanied her father to and from hospital wearing full PPE before she later tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19.
A report by the Courier Mail on Thursday afternoon said the woman had been left unattended at the hospital and travelled back to the hotel in either a taxi or ride-share.
In a statement on Thursday night, a Queensland Health spokesperson said, “some early reporting has misrepresented this situation”.
“In circumstances where a person accompanies a relative to hospital for medical treatment, full PPE [personal protective equipment] and safety guidelines are followed,” the spokesperson said.
Queensland Health is aware of an article regarding an alleged COVID-19 quarantine breach. We are concerned some early reporting has misrepresented this situation and it's important people understand the facts. Read the facts here: https://t.co/M08BrKHFC0
— Queensland Health (@qldhealthnews) January 14, 2021
“This occurs even if a patient is being transported for non-COVID-related medical issues.
“Quarantine guests are transported to and from the hospital by Queensland Ambulance Service, who have been safely transporting hotel quarantine guests for almost a year.
“All protocols were followed in this case. Guests were transported from and returned to the hotel by Qld Ambulance Service while in appropriate PPE.
“The suggestion the person caught a ride-share back to the hotel is untrue. Full and proper COVID-19 PPE protocols were followed while these guests were in the hospital.”
Just hours after the woman went back to quarantine in the hotel, she and her father were formally notified they were carrying the mutant UK strain of COVID-19.
The woman, aged in her 20s, arrived from Lebanon with her father, aged in his 40s, on New Year’s Day.
They had been quarantining at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in inner-city Brisbane where four cases of the mutant strain have now been detected, along with a hotel cleaner and her partner.
The spread of the virus on level seven of the hotel sparked a mass evacuation of all 129 guests in a major medical emergency on Wednesday.
It is understood police are investigating after chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said earlier on Thursday she could not be confident all guests stayed inside their rooms during the 14-day isolation, as per Queensland Health’s hotel quarantine protocol.
Overnight on Wednesday, all guests were moved by ambulance to other quarantine hotels, including The Westin in Brisbane’s CBD.