Plea for quarantine breach info as cluster grows
Queenslanders with information about potential hotel quarantine breaches, which may have caused the six-person COVID-19 cluster at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, are being urged to come forward.
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said they should contact Policelink on 13 14 44.
A joint police and Queensland Health investigation is underway into how the cluster had occurred at the inner-Brisbane hotel.
Genome sequencing has sourced the outbreak to a man, in his 30s, who was taken to the Grand Chancellor on December 30 for compulsory quarantine after arriving in Brisbane with his partner from the UK.
But how it escaped from their room to other people in quarantine on the same floor of the hotel, and to a cleaner working there, remains a mystery.
Queensland Health announced on December 31 the man had tested positive to the highly contagious UK COVID-19 variant, dubbed B117. His partner has also since been confirmed as having the pandemic virus.
Both were in quarantine in a room on floor seven of the hotel, before being transferred to hospital.
On January 7, a cleaner who worked at the Grand Chancellor was found to have the UK variant, the first case in Australia of B117 being detected in the community. Four days later, her partner also tested positive to the virus.
And today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a man and his daughter who had been in hotel quarantine at the Grand Chancellor since January 1, after returning from Lebanon, had been added to the cluster.
They had also been staying on Floor 7 of the Grand Chancellor.
Ms Palaszczuk said the investigation into how the hotel outbreak had occurred would include whether the UK variant of the virus had spread through the Grand Chancellor's air conditioning system.
Ms D'Ath said that so far, no breaches had been identified to suggest how the cluster happened.
"We know all six have the same virus but we aren't able to identify at this stage what action or breach or environmental circumstances have led to that transmission," she said.
After genomic sequencing late yesterday linked the Grand Chancellor's latest two cases to the cluster, authorities worked through the night to collect details of staff and guests who had stayed at the hotel since December 30.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said 226 people who had worked at the hotel in the past fortnight and another 250 guests who had left the Grand Chancellor in that time were being contacted.
"We're asking that all of those people to immediately get tested and go into quarantine for 14 days from when they left the hotel," Dr Young said.
The Grand Chancellor's remaining 129 guests are being moved to other hotels and will have to quarantine for another 14 days at the expense of the Queensland Government.
Originally published as 'Come forward': Plea for quarantine breach info as cluster grows