QLD to lift restrictions today as infected doctor's contacts test negative

QLD to lift restrictions today as infected doctor's contacts test negative

The PA Hospital in Brisbane. Photo courtesy of 'Shiftchange' via Wikimedia Commons.

The Queensland Government will lift restrictions on hospitals, aged care and disability services from noon today, following a week of extensive contact tracing after a Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital doctor tested positive to COVID-19 last week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said approximately 650 of the doctor have been tested.

"The good news here is 99 per cent of them have come back, and all are negative," the Premier said.

"As of noon today, all restrictions on hospitals, aged care and disability service providers are lifted.

"I know there's a lot of people out there that need to go and see their loved one, so from 12 noon today you're free to go and do that."

She thanked the café, pub and gym that were involved with contact tracing.

"Their check-in data was excellent. You can see how far we've come in this pandemic when you have these processes in place now which makes it so much easier for our contact tracers to do the right thing," the Premier said.

The state's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young thanked the doctor from the PA, describing her as "absolutely magnificent".

"She did everything right, and that's why I say it is the virus at fault, it really is. There is nothing that I can see that she could have done differently," Dr Young said.

"In our hospitals we have people who actually watch while someone is putting PPE (personal protective equipment) on and taking it off, that's how seriously this is taken.

"Although knowing that she had not done anything that would cause her to be infected, the first hint - and it must have been absolutely the first hint - she went and got tested, and those first tests had very, very high CT values which means there was very little virus, so I'm actually not surprised there hasn't been any further transmission."

The Premier highlighted there was no evidence of failure at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, which will begin taking people back into the hotel for quarantine, except for level one where contagions are believed to have taken place.

"The CCTV I'm advised has found no breaches whatsoever, so we do know this is a highly contagious strain."

The Premier added there were nine new COVID-19 cases reported in hotel quarantine in the last 24 hours, of which six came from Papua New Guinea (PNG), taking the state's total active case number to 57.

As part of the State and Federal Government's strategy to contain the potential spread of COVID-19 from PNG, so far 159 people in the Torres Strait have been vaccinated with more to come.

In non-coronavirus news, the Premier added an aggressive tourism campaigns would start this weekend targeting travellers from NSW and VIC.

Updated at 11:15am AEST on 19 March 2020.

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