New Brisbane COVID case was infectious while staying at City Backpackers hostel

New Brisbane COVID case was infectious while staying at City Backpackers hostel

City Backpackers, Brisbane. Photo: Facebook

People who have visited the City Backpackers, Roma Street in Brisbane at any time since 22 July will be called upon for testing after a returned traveller who stayed there tested positive to COVID-19.

Queensland Health Minister Yvtte D'Ath and Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young told a press conference this morning the man is a Perth resident who had returned from the Philippines, and completed quarantine at a Quest hotel after three negative tests for the virus.

A Quest spokesperson has confirmed he was in quarantine at Quest Chermside in Brisbane's north.

The man left hotel quarantine on 17 July, but on 26 July he felt unwell and got tested at the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital (RBWH) that night.

"It is deemed that he has been infectious in the community since the 22nd of July," D'Ath said.

"This individual has been residing at the Roma Street City Backpackers during this period."

Dr Jeannette Young noted contact tracing was underway for anyone who stayed at the hostel, and emphasised anyone who was in contact with him could have visited "anywhere in the state".

The case is one of 20 new reported COVID-19 cases in Queensland today, the other 19 relating to crew members from the bulk carrier vessel MV Sanyu which arrived in Torres Strait waters on Monday.

It was disclosed to authorities that many ship workers were sick, so health authorities boarded the vessel to test them for COVID-19.

"That ship will steam around to Weipa...if it hasn't arrived already this morning it should be arriving fairly soon. Then we will organise to take those sick crew off that ship, maintaining enough crew on that ship to keep that ship safe," Dr Young said.

"Then we'll bring those sick crew down to Brisbane to be managed in one of our quarantine facilities in Brisbane. All of that is happening as we speak."

Despite the lifting of lockdowns in South Australia and Victoria, Queensland is maintaining its hotspot designations for the two states but will be allowing some arrivals from both provided they are either Queensland residents or have been granted exemptions, and have suitable accommodation to complete home quarantine. 

At the time of writing Queensland Health has not yet updated its exposure sites list to include the hostel, but residents of the state are encouraged to check the list on a daily basis. 

Updated at 9:56am AEST on 28 July.

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