Queensland has a new case of COVID-19, but it’s likely historic and unrelated to the case of a doctor at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital who tested positive, state health officials say

The doctor examined two coronavirus patients at Woolloongabba Hospital on Wednesday and tested them positive on late Friday

Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor is also on lockdown as authorities investigate whether an overseas case announced yesterday has been quarantined

Sixty-one staff and seven patients at Princess Alexandra Hospital have been identified as potential close contacts, and test results are expected in the coming days

Sonya Bennett, deputy chief health officer for Queensland, said the contact tracing is now essentially complete 238 contacts were followed from four places in which the doctor had attended on Thursday

“Most comfortably, her three close contacts or co-workers, friends and co-workers who were with her at the venues most of the time, tested negative,” she said

“That doesn’t mean they are completely out of the woods – we will continue to monitor them while we are in quarantine, and we also expect to get test results back from these community contacts in the next few days”

Both of the patients the doctor came in contact with were of the British strain and Queensland Health today confirmed that the doctor has the British strain

“Genome sequencing didn’t fully establish the link – there weren’t enough viruses – but the lab was able to run a partial sequence indicating that this health care worker was linked to one of them the [two] Cases that she assessed, “said Dr Bennett

“Unfortunately there was another new case yesterday that we announced, and all genome sequencing also suggests that the case may be related to this first case – which is currently under investigation

“Both were traveling through the same area en route and this new case from yesterday was revealed on Nov. Day tested positive – it was their baseline test and they were symptomatic

“What we would like to rule out, that a transfer took place in the hotel at all, as this is one of several possible options to explain the case identified yesterday”

Dr Bennett said the two cases were on the same floor of the Grand Chancellor Hotel at overlapping times

She said the doctor examined the two coronavirus patients for admission to Princess Alexandra Hospital, which would have involved a face-to-face conversation

Queensland Health said the doctor was wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and no violations were found

“All of our Queensland hospitals follow national guidelines, and there have been national guidelines that have been continuously revised regarding COVID,” said Dr Bennett

“To the best of my knowledge, she has moved around the hospital on an as-needed basis and that is exactly what followed the contact tracing, and there is likely a large number of staff involved”

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The hotel was at the center of a cluster that put Greater Brisbane on a three-day lockdown earlier this year after a hotel cleaner discovered the disease

“The hotel will be closed, will not take any more residents, and will not release returning travelers for the next 72 hours until we better understand the context of this event,” said Dr Bennett

Dr Bennett said authorities were acting with extreme caution and there was no link to the cluster in early January

Health Secretary Yvette D’Ath said she “absolutely” disproves the Australian Medical Association’s claim that PPE is inappropriate

“We adhere to national guidelines and standards – I think we have to be careful in making assumptions about what happened in this particular case,” said Ms. D’Ath

“I have been told that the doctor is wearing the appropriate PPE, but we will be doing an investigation to determine how this transmission took place”

“Even if this doctor had his first or second vaccination, it doesn’t guarantee he won’t get COVID – which guarantees he won’t end up in intensive care or on a ventilator and end up chronically ill,” Ms D ‘said Ath

“This particular doctor did not work in the quarantine as a routine – I understand she was asked at around 2:30 a.m. to investigate some hotel quarantine arrivals who were showing symptoms

“It’s not that we don’t deliver the vaccine to all of the doctors and nurses who work on these COVID wards every day”

Meanwhile, United Workers Union National Ambulance Coordinator Fiona Scanlon said ambulance ramps had increased while patients were confined to Princess Alexandra Hospital

“This has created additional demand in other hospitals, including an elevated ramp in the RBWH (Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital),” she said

“Ambulance officers are working with these changes and keeping patients safe until the PA [Princess Alexandra Hospital] can return to its standard capacity”

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World News – AU – Close Contacts COVID-19 doctor test negative as contact tracing continues in Brisbane

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-14/coronavirus-queensland-brisbane-doctor-covid-19/13246790