Brisbane doctor’s movements revealed

 

A Brisbane cafe, gym and pub have been deemed high risk COVID-19 sites after a doctor who tested positive to the virus visited the venues on Thursday.

Princess Alexandra Hospital in Woolloongabba was sent into immediate lockdown on Friday night after the doctor tested positive to the virus.

It was revealed the doctor, who works at the hospital, came into contact with two patients with the highly contagious UK strain early on Wednesday. It's possible the doctor has the same strain, though it's yet to be confirmed.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Saturday morning all hospitals, aged care facilities, disability homes and correctional centres in the greater Brisbane area would be closed to non-essential visitors as contact tracers scramble to prevent a larger outbreak.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk … Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk … Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

The doctor tested positive to low levels of the virus on Friday and health officials say she could have been infectious while in the community on Thursday.

That afternoon she visited the Morning After Cafe in the city's West End from 2pm to 3.15pm, Corporate Box Gym in Greenslopes from 5.45pm to 7pm and Stones Corner Hotel between 7-7.45pm.

Those three locations have been deemed high risk venues.

A McDonald's restaurant in Coorparoo is deemed a low-risk site after the doctor used the drive through between 3.10pm and 3.20pm on Thursday.

The Corporate Box gym after she left at 7pm is also deemed low risk.

The woman began to feel unwell late on Thursday and went to get tested after waking up with a sore throat the next day.

On Saturday Ms Palaszczuk said the next 72 hours would be critical to see if there had been any further spread.

"Unlike when we had the (hotel quarantine) cleaner out in the public for five days, this doctor has not been out in the community for very long. It's been very short and very limited," she said.

Queensland Deputy Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said contact tracers were working quickly. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Queensland Deputy Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said contact tracers were working quickly. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

While there is no need for the public to wear masks, this will be assessed over the next few days.

Deputy chief health officer Dr Sonya Bennett said the venues visited by the doctor were working closely with health authorities.

"Anyone who is potentially exposed will be going into quarantine and managed," she said.

Dr Bennett said the doctor worked a shift at the hospital into Thursday morning but was not yet symptomatic.

"A big exercise in contact tracing under way at the moment as we speak at the PA Hospital. Identifying all patients and all staff who may have been in contact with the doctor during that time.

"They will be managed appropriately depending on what contact they had, with some staff going into quarantine or patients getting tested. There's a lot of work to do over the next 24 hours."

It was confirmed the doctor had not been vaccinated, despite coming into direct contact with potentially infectious patients. She was wearing PPE at the time of contact.

"What we know about this virus is that it is highly infectious. Both the rapidity at which the doctor became infectious and the fact there were no identified breaches shows that," Dr Bennett said.

Contact tracing was underway overnight after all non-essential visits to Princess Alexandra Hospital were banned.

The hospital remains locked down to non-essential visitors. Picture: David Clark
The hospital remains locked down to non-essential visitors. Picture: David Clark

The emergency department has remained open but patients are urged to seek treatment elsewhere if possible, and all staff or anyone who does attend must wear a mask.

All non-urgent outpatient bookings and elective surgery were postponed.

On Saturday those restrictions were extended across health and correctional facilities in greater Brisbane.

Ms Palaszczuk said the blanket restrictions would be reviewed daily.

The new case broke Queensland's nearly 60-day streak of no cases of community transmission, prompting renewed calls for anyone with symptoms to get tested.

Originally published as Brisbane doctor's movements revealed



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