Queensland Health traces UK case but no new infections overnight – Brisbane Times


Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said it was unclear if the woman was infectious with the new strain while she was on Jetstar flight JQ 570, which flew from Melbourne to Brisbane to Brisbane on January 5.

“I don’t know,” Dr Young said. “She would have been at the end of her infectious period, but she did test positive yesterday [Friday].”

Queensland Health authorities are now trying to trace people on the flight.

Dr Young said Melbourne health authorities followed the previous health protocols where “exit testing” was not required.

“If you remember a lot of people continue to excrete virus up to 120 days after their illness is complete,” she said.

“We removed the requirement for exit testing quite some time ago.”

Chief Health officer Jeannette Young speaks at a press conference in Brisbane.

Chief Health officer Jeannette Young speaks at a press conference in Brisbane.Credit:Jono Searle/Getty Images

Dr Young said the Victorian woman met the existing quarantine requirements of having no symptoms for three continual days during her 10-day isolation in Melbourne.

“So she met those two criteria so she was allowed to isolation.”

Dr Young said exit testing has now been returned for the more contagious UK COVID-19 strain.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there was a very low risk associated with the woman who travelled from Victoria.

“But we will still be directly contacting those who sat immediately around this individual on January 5th,” Ms D’Ath said.

She said the circumstances that existed when the woman was allowed to leave and travel to Queensland had been changed since the UK-strain had been identified.

“The scenario which we have seen from this woman – leaving [isolation] on day 10, not having an exit test and importantly not having the genome sequencing known until after she was released – would not be occurring now,” Ms D’Ath said.

Ms D’Ath said every person who tests positive for COVID-19 has genome sequencing completed.

“And the results would be known before they are released to know whether thy have the UK variant, or any other variant for that matter, including the South African variant,” she said.


“We would know that before they are released and we would be doing exit testing on this other variant.”

“And I understand this has been agreed to nationally now as well.”

With the zero new local cases overnight, Queensland has 21 active COVID-19 cases, with all cases in isolation.

Dr Young said 91 people who came into contact with an earlier case of the new strain, a woman who cleaned at the Hotel Grand Chancellor who tested positive on Thursday.

“All of those have been tested and they are all negative,” Dr Young said.

“They are all now in 14 days quarantine.

“We will re-test them if any of them develop symptoms or show systems at an exit test on day 12.”

Dr Young said she remained concerned about the cleaner’s casual contacts.

“Those are the people who we don’t know exactly who they are so we need to get the message out there.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrives at her press conference in a face mask. Masks are compulsory in greater Brisbane this weekend.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrives at her press conference in a face mask. Masks are compulsory in greater Brisbane this weekend.Credit:Jono Searle/Getty Images

She asked people catching trains between Brisbane’s Altandi rail station to Central Station on Saturday, January 2 about 7am and also back from Central Station to Altandi about 4pm to get tested.

She also asked for people who were at the Woolworths Calamvale North store on Sunday, January 3 (11am to noon) and the Coles Sunnybank Hills store on Monday, January 5 from 7.30am to 8am to get tested.

“That is important, whether or not you have symptoms I would like you to come forward and get tested.”

Dr Young said she was very encouraged that the “first person” in the Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster – the person who have the UK strain to the cleaner – has been identified.


“We have found the first person, which is so critical,” Dr Young said.

“That is what I want to do every time. Find the first person so we can immediately get everyone into quarantine, as we have done with those 91 contacts so far,” she said.

Dr Young said Brisbane residents were accepting the direction to wear masks outside their homes.

“Every single person I saw on my way in was wearing a mask, which is fantastic,” she said.

“For the next three days, it is really important that everyone throughout those five local government areas wears a mask.”

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