Health officials say “all protocols were followed” when a woman quarantined at the Brisbane hotel accompanied her father to hospital and returning with full PPE before she later tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19.
A report from Mail Mail Thursday afternoon, said the woman was left unattended in hospital and returned to the hotel by taxi or carpool.
In a statement Thursday evening, a spokesperson for Queensland Health said: “Some preliminary reports have distorted this situation”.
“In circumstances where a person accompanies a relative to hospital for medical treatment, full PPE [personal protective equipment] and safety instructions are followed, ”the spokesperson said.
Queensland Health is aware of an article regarding an alleged COVID-19 quarantine violation. We are concerned that some preliminary reports have distorted this situation and it is important that people understand the facts. Read the facts here: https://t.co/M08BrKHFC0
– Queensland Health (@qldhealthnews) January 14, 2021
“This happens even if a patient is transported for medical issues unrelated to COVID.
“Quarantined guests are transported to and from the hospital by the Queensland Ambulance Service, which has safely transported hotel guests in quarantine for almost a year.
“All protocols were followed in this case. Customers were transported and returned to the hotel by the Qld ambulance service while wearing appropriate PPE.
“The suggestion that the person grabbed a carpool to get back to the hotel is wrong. Full and appropriate COVID-19 PPE protocols were followed while these guests were in hospital.
Just hours after the woman returned to quarantine at the hotel, she and her father were officially told they were carrying the UK mutant strain of COVID-19.
The woman, in her twenties, arrived from Lebanon with her father, in his forties, on New Year’s Day.
They had been quarantined at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in downtown Brisbane, where four cases of the mutant strain have now been detected, along with a hotel cleaner and her partner.
The spread of the virus on the hotel’s seventh floor sparked a mass evacuation of 129 guests during a major medical emergency on Wednesday.
It is understood that police are investigating after health director Dr Jeannette Young said earlier Thursday that she could not be sure all clients remained in their rooms during the 14 days of isolation, in accordance with the Queensland Health hotel quarantine protocol.
On Wednesday night, all guests were transferred by ambulance to other quarantine hotels, including the Westin in Brisbane’s CBD.