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There have been no cases of community transmission of coronavirus recorded in Queensland in the past 24 hours, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has confirmed.
One new case of COVID-19 was recorded in the child of two people who already had been hospitalised after testing positive since recently returning from South Africa.
That child is also in hospital, Dr Young said.
She also said people caught by the Hotel Grand Chancellor COVID-19 cluster who have already served a fortnight in quarantine but initially expected to restart their quarantine period would be released later today, given it was now 14 days since a cleaner in the Hotel Grand Chancellor tested positive to the UK strain of COVID-19.
“We haven’t had any additional cases other than those six that we have told you about before,” Dr Young said.
“So that means [from 6:00pm] tonight, those guests who were transferred from the Grand Chancellor to the Westin will be able to leave quarantine.
“Of course, if any of them can’t make travel arrangements by then because they are travelling interstate or they are going elsewhere in Queensland, we would be very happy for them to continue to stay in the hotel overnight.
“We won’t ask them to go and find a different hotel.”
The decision is a significant change in direction after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed on Wednesday that 129 guests at the Grand Chancellor would be moved to the Westin and undergo a “quarantine reset”, even if they had already served 14 days, due to ongoing concern about the hotel cluster.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said some staff at the hotel were close contacts of the cleaner, and would remain in quarantine.
“I believe there were about 30 people at the Grand Chancellor who were due to leave because they had completed their 14 days who were then asked to remain in quarantine,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Anyone else who was in the Grand Chancellor who was moved over to the Westin who was still in their original 14-day quarantine will continue that 14-day quarantine period.”
Dr Young said investigations into the spread of the UK variant at the Hotel Grand Chancellor were still underway.
“We still have contacts who came into contact with the cleaner or her partner out in the community, so their 14 days depends on when that contact occurred. So not all of those [people] are out of quarantine at this stage,” she said.
“There is every chance we have contained this cluster. It’s a little bit too early to say.
“It is looking promising, but I still ask anyone with any symptoms anywhere in the state at all, please, just come forward and get tested.”
Man unable to see dying mother
Dr Young said she was aware of media reports about a man who arrived from the US and had not been granted an exemption from hotel quarantine to see his dying mother.
She said it was a very sad case but ultimately the risk was too great.
“You couldn’t hold him back, he’d want to hug his mum — it just can’t happen safely. It’s tragic, it is awful and I feel for him very, very much,” Dr Young said.
“We’ve seen this very, very rapidly transfer, within 24 to 48 hours, so he could transfer it to her and then she could transfer it to someone else. The risk is too high.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the risk from people arriving from overseas is increasing as cases spike in the northern hemisphere.
“Globally we are seeing the numbers creeping towards 100 million positive cases,” she said.
“That is why we need to be very, very strict in relation to any exemptions that are made from hotel quarantine. It’s not just about the individual and their loves ones, but its about the safety of Queenslanders and all Australians.”