States warn residents who have travelled to Brisbane high-risk locations to self isolate
States have warned residents who have travelled to high-risk locations in Brisbane to self-isolate as Queensland health authorities probe whether an infected doctor has the UK strain of coronavirus.
A Queensland doctor infected while treating coronavirus patients at a Brisbane hospital had not yet been vaccinated and is feared to have the UK strain.
Her diagnosis sparked the lockdown of Princess Alexandra Hospital last night as health authorities try to contain the potential spread of the virus.
New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Tasmanian health authorities have responded in-kind, asking for travellers to self-isolate but stopping short of closing borders as contact tracing and testing continues.
The health departments are asking anyone arriving into NSW from Queensland after March 11 to check the Queensland Health website for public health instructions.
Several venues of concern in Brisbane have been identified.
Anyone who has attended one of the following venues listed on the website during the relevant times is asked to immediately self-isolate until Thursday, March 25.
- Morning After Café, corner Vulture and Cambridge St, West End on Thursday, March 11 between 2pm and 3.15pm 14:00 – 15:15
- Corporate Box Gym, East Brisbane, 368A Logan Road, Greenslopes on Thursday, March 11 2021 17:45 – 19:00
- Stones Corner Hotel, 346 Logan Road Stones Corner Thursday 11 March 2021 18:30 – 19:45
Queensland Health said further information is being obtained on the Corporate Box Gym and Stones Corner Hotel venues and the risk assessment may be updated.
The McDonalds drive through at 235 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo is considered a low risk venue.
Anyone who was there on Thursday, March 11 from 03:10am to 03:20am is asked to monitor for symptoms.
Anyone who has entered NSW from Greater Brisbane since Thursday, March 11 and who has not attended any of the venues listed above must still be alert for symptoms.
If symptoms occur, residents should get tested immediately and isolate until you receive a negative result.
In addition, anyone who has been in Greater Brisbane since Thursday, March 11 should avoid non-essential visits to hospitals and residential aged care facilities until further notice.
Despite being three weeks into the vaccination program, the Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor had not been given her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
The doctor assessed two positive cases on Wednesday night, both of whom were being treated for the UK strain of COVID-19.
The doctor developed symptoms on Thursday and tested positive to the virus yesterday.
It is not yet known whether the doctor has contracted the UK strain however Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was likely results would confirm that to be the case.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the doctor was considered a top priority for vaccinations, along with 37,000 others.
She said that group of 37,000 included front line health workers, hotel quarantine staff, paramedics, border control staff and cleaners.
“All of these 37,000 people are equally important to each other,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Every one of them need the vaccine as soon as we can possibly give it to them.”
Half of the priority group at the Princess Alexandra Hospital have already received the jab, but not the infected doctor.
The hospital is currently working to contact any patients who may have been in contact with the doctor during her infectious period as well as any transfers that may have occurred through the state’s ambulance system.
Ms Palaszczuk said the next 72 hours would be “critical” in determining whether further community transmission had occurred.
The Queensland Premier has said the doctor has spent “very limited” time in the community, urging the community to remain calm.
“I don’t want everyone to be alarmed at present,” she said.
Three new cases of overseas acquired coronavirus have been diagnosed overnight.
New hospital restrictions
All non-essential visits to patients at the Princess Alexandra Hospital have been banned, elective surgeries postponed and a mask mandate for anyone attending the hospital.
Queensland Health said the emergency department would remain open but urged potential patients to choose another hospital or GP if possible.
“Staff will wear masks at all times,” a Queensland Health statement said.
“Patients will be required to wear masks at all times unless it is not clinically appropriate.
“Non-urgent outpatient bookings and elective surgery will be postponed.”
Hospital staff are also looking to stand up a second testing clinic in case of a surge in testing numbers.
“There may be some long lines so be prepared for that if you’re coming forward any getting tested,” Ms D’Ath said.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is urged to get tested immediately and isolate until receiving a negative result.
Queensland will begin a rapid increase in the state’s vaccination rollout with over 18,000 people having received the jab so far.
The state is halfway through the first cohort of 37,000 frontline health workers in line to receive the vaccine.
The state will now begin the second stage of the vaccine rollout plan which includes a cohort of one million Queenslanders