Coronavirus is believed to have been transmitted between two flight attendants staying on different floors of hotel quarantine.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said officials fear a fully-vaccinated hotel worker spread Covid between two guests on different floors of Four Points, used exclusively for airline staff.
The flight attendant, who flew into Brisbane from Portugal, tested positive on Saturday after catching Covid from another airline worker who arrived on a different flight and was quarantining on a different floor.
The two cases have been linked and both workers have the Alpha strain of the virus.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says could be a ‘world first’ that a worker passed the infection between two hotel quarantine guests, particularly who were staying on separate floors.
Preliminary investigations show a worker at the quarantine hotel escorted an infected man, who had arrived from Mongolia, to an ambulance.
Officials fear a fully vaccinated hotel worker may have spread Covid between two guests on different floors of Four Points, used exclusively for airline staff
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the man from Mongolia and the hotel worker were both fully vaccinated, reinforcing that the virus can be passed on even by those who have had their shots
The same worker then went to a higher floor and swabbed the flight attendant.
‘We know that this staff member escorted one positive case from Mongolia from their room to an ambulance to take them to hospital,’ Dr Young said.
‘Then that same staff member, who was fully vaccinated, as was the patient, we know after escorting the gentleman she went up to a higher level in the building and swabbed the lady who came from Portugal.
‘She has ended up with exactly the same strain of the virus as the gentleman from Mongolia.
‘We are thinking that through fomite transmission, that staff member has transported the virus from the gentleman to the lady.’
The man from Mongolia and the quarantine hotel worker were both fully vaccinated, Dr Young said, reinforcing that the virus can be passed on even by those who have had their shots.
Dr Young said the infected flight attendant also spread the virus to a man at a Brisbane venue attended by more than 30 other people.
Queensland authorities believe the risk posed by its latest case of community transmission is low.
The man was at the Portuguese Family Centre at Ellen Grove in Brisbane on Saturday night at the same time as the infected flight attendant.
He and 35 others who were also at the venue are now isolating as authorities wait on further tests to see if anyone else is infected.
The flight attendant was released from hotel quarantine on Saturday, before a test showed she was infected.
She was only in the community for a short period but has sparked alerts for a number of exposure sites including the Portuguese centre, the DFO Brisbane shopping centre, the lobby of the Park Regis Hotel, and an area near the Queen Street Mall.
Queensland authorities believe the risk posed by its latest case of community transmission is low
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says could be a ‘world first’ that a worker as infected two hotel quarantine guests, particularly who were staying on separate floors
The two cases have been linked and both workers have the Alpha strain of the virus, which Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says could be a ‘world first’
Dr Young expressed optimism that risks from the new infection were low.
Contact tracers are working to determine if he ventured out after going home from the family centre, and being told on Sunday that he was infected.
Queenslanders were told to reconsider travel to NSW after the state recorded 10 new local cases, taking the number of infections linked to Sydney’s Bondi cluster to a total of 21.
‘People should reconsider their need to go to Greater Sydney,’ Dr Young said.
‘Overnight there’s been two new exposure venues in Canberra. People need to look before they travel anywhere in NSW and should reconsider if they really need to travel.’
Victoria, on the other hand, was on top of its outbreak, Dr Young said.
As a result, Queensland will open its borders to all of Victoria, including greater Melbourne, at 1am on Friday. Victorians must still complete a travel declaration but will not be required to hotel quarantine.