A gentleman in his 60s who attended a Portuguese restaurant in Brisbane's southwest on Saturday night is the latest community-transmitted COVID-19 case for Queensland, as the state gears up to open its borders to anyone from Victoria at 1am this Friday.
The latest case attended the Brisbane Portuguese Family Centre in Ellen Grove at the same time as a woman who was unknowingly positive to the virus, having completed 14 days of quarantine that same day but her test result was not revealed until later.
She had also been to the Cotton On at the Brisbane Airport DFO and the lobby of the Park Regis Hotel at North Quay on Saturday afternoon, as well as the CBD around the Queen Street Mall. However, because she has the alpha variant - previously known as the UK strain - her walk in the open air is not being treated as a serious transmission risk.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young confirmed the 36 people who attended the restaurant while the COVID-positive individual was present are now all in home quarantine and will be assessed and tested over the coming fortnight.
Health authorities are now in the process of confirming whether the man in his 60s was out and about in the community on the Sunday morning.
More details have also been revealed about how the transmission of COVID-19 came about for the woman who had travelled from Portugal on an Emirates flight, most likely during her stay in the quarantine hotel in Hamilton due to the genomic match with another positive case from Mongolia.
Dr Young - who in November will become Queensland's new Governor - explained a staff member had escorted one of the positive cases from Mongolia from the room to the ambulance so they could be transported to the hospital. Both individuals had been fully vaccinated.
"Then the staf member who was fully vaccinated...went up to a higher level in the building and swabbed the lady who came from Portugal, and the lady from Portugal has ended up with exactly the same virus as the gentleman from Mongolia," Dr Young said.
"So we are thinking that we really need to do further investigation that through a fomite transmission process that staff member has transferred the virus from the gentleman up to that lady from Portugal.
"This is very, very preliminary and we do need to look further into it before we confirm that that is what has occurred."
Fomite transmission refers to indirect transmission via contact of a susceptible host with a contaminated object or surface.
In more positive news, the chief health officer explained as Melbourne had "got on top of their outbreak", Queensland would be opening to all of Victoria including Greater Melbourne on 25 June at 1am.
"But there have been some more exposure venues in New South Wales," she added, noting there had also been an exposure site update in Canberra as well over night.
"So people really need to look before they travel anywhere in New South Wales that there might be an exposure venue and should reconsider if they really need to travel."
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