News Coronavirus COVID case sparks fears of aged-care infections in Qld

COVID case sparks fears of aged-care infections in Qld

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Precautions are being taken at an aged-care centre in Brisbane’s Pinjarra Hills after Friday’s new case of coronavirus in Queensland was linked to two employees of the facility, as well as the trio who recently returned from Melbourne.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 27-year-old man from Bellbird Park, in Ipswich, was in quarantine.

A Queensland Health spokesperson later confirmed the man was at the Madtongsan IV Korean restaurant in Sunnybank last Thursday with five others, who all dined at a table adjacent to one of the women who had been in Melbourne.

All of the people the man dined with are being tested for coronavirus.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said of the three women who travelled to Melbourne, two had tested positive, while a third returned a negative result.

“But we’re just checking whether or not she’s actually had it [COVID-19] and recovered,” she said.

“It’s too early to say whether or not we’ll see on-going spread. We’ll know over the next week or two.

“We have a gentleman who tested positive overnight, he is our fourth case in this cluster.”

Dr Young said the man’s wife and sister-in-law “probably have COVID-19”, although they are yet to have their test results returned.

“The man’s wife, and the wife’s sister are in quarantine and have been tested with results expected back this afternoon,” Dr Young said.

One, or potentially both, of the women work at the Bolton Clarke aged-care facility at Pinjarra Hills, in Brisbane’s south-west.

Bolton Clarke chief operating officer David Swain said “two team members” had close contact with the man and both worked last on July 28.

Mr Swain said they self-isolated as soon as they realised they had been to the same restaurant as the Melbourne trio.

All staff are wearing protective equipment and residents are receiving care in their rooms, until further advice.

“In addition, our Pinjarra Hills community is not open to visitors,” Mr Swain said.

Restaurant ‘most likely’ cause of transmission

Health Minister Steven Miles said the link to the restaurant was “the most likely source” of the new infection.

“It underlines just how critical our contact tracing efforts are, more than 1,500 contacts have now been traced related to these three cases [the women],” he said.

A record 9076 tests were conducted in Queensland in the past 24 hours.

That includes 2498 tests in the Metro South region, where the three women live.

“In some cases that has overwhelmed our testing clinics,” Mr Miles said.

Dr Young also said a Queensland nurse, who contracted the virus in Victoria while helping the state with their coronavirus response, would be flown back to Queensland on Friday.

Community sport will still go ahead this weekend, but Dr Young urged anyone with symptoms to stay home and get tested.

“At any point in Queensland today we could have cases pop up, so that’s why the most important message is, ‘if you’re sick, stay at home and get tested’

“We don’t have a lot of respiratory disease. So if you’ve got respiratory symptoms today in Queensland, there is a reasonable chance that those respiratory symptoms are due to Covid rather than due to something else.”

There were 11 active cases in the state, and 1,083 total cases since the pandemic began.

Thousands heading to Queensland from interstate

From 1am Saturday, 31 more local government areas in greater Sydney will be locked out of the state.

However, chief superintendent Mark Wheeler of Gold Coast district said people with valid border entry passes would still be scrutinised by police.

It comes after a driver was fined $4,000 after allegedly failing to declare they had been to a known hotspot at Campbelltown in Sydney.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said authorities expected thousands of people to come into Queensland on Friday.

“The numbers are quite staggering,” he said.

“We have already hit 100,000 people since 10 July being checked at our domestic airports,” he said.

“We are expecting around 8000 people to come into Brisbane today from interstate. Obviously a number of Queenslanders wanting to come back home before the restrictions come into effect tomorrow morning.”

He said since border controls started back in March over 500,000 vehicles at road borders had been checked with 11,312 people from overseas put into quarantine.

About 1507 domestic traveller from hotspots around the country have gone into hotel quarantine in Queensland.