Queensland has confirmed another local case of COVID, as it also believes it has tracked the source of the latest hotel quarantine leak into the community.
A man who dined at the same Portuguese restaurant as an airline worker later diagnosed with the virus has also tested positive, state authorities confirmed on Tuesday.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the man, aged in his 60s, had been in home quarantine since the Portuguese Family Centre in Ellen Grove was identified as a venue of concern after the airline worker’s positive test.
“All of the 36 people who attended the restaurant during the timeframe when the lady from Portugal did are in home quarantine, so we will continue to assess them and test them going forward for the 14 days,” she said.
Queensland authorities believe the risk of further transmission is low.
The woman, aged in her 30s, who was first diagnosed with the virus caught it from an Emirates cabin crew member who was in quarantine at Brisbane’s Four Points hotel at the same time. The two cases arrived on different flights and stayed on different floors of the hotel.
Dr Young said Queensland authorities believed they had found a link between the two cases – a quarantine worker who escorted a positive case from their room to an ambulance, and then went to an upper level of the hotel to swab the airline worker.
Genomic sequencing has found the woman has the same virus as the first positive case. The quarantine worker and original infected case were both fully vaccinated.
“We are thinking – but we really need to do further investigation – that that staff member has transferred the virus,” Dr Young said.
“This is very early and we need to confirm it.”
Previous cases of virus transmission within hotels have involved people staying on the same floor, Australia’s chief health officer Paul Kelly said on Monday.
Ms Palaszczuk also announced on Tuesday that Queensland would open its borders to travellers from all of Victoria from 1am on Friday – just in time for the school holidays.
Victoria reported no more community COVID infections on Tuesday, and has only 51 active cases remaining.
“I know there are a lot of people that would have had their holidays booked to Queensland, so Doctor Young is comfortable with where Victoria is at,” she said.
However, Queensland authorities are “keeping a close eye on NSW”, with its growing Bondi outbreak. Ms Palaszczuk again urged Queenslanders not to travel to NSW.