COVID-19 case at Brisbane detention centre

A worker at Brisbane’s Youth Detention Centre in Wacol has tested positive for COVID-19.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Ipswich woman, aged in her 70s, went to work while she was sick.

“What you’re going to hear today is a story of a woman who was sick and still went to work,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Thursday.

“It is really important … that if you are sick you must stay at home. Now a whole lot of contact tracing has to happen.”

The case is the only one recorded in Queensland on Thursday with eight active infections.

There are about 500 staff employed on rotation at the detention facility which houses around 127 young people.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the woman had worked five shifts while she was infectious, from about August 8. 

“At this stage, we’re working with the centre to test all of their residents.”

The detention centre will not be taking new admissions and all court appearances have been cancelled.

Face to face visits were cancelled in July and have again been suspended after reopening for a brief few days on Monday.

The facility will go through CCTV footage to confirm any contact made between the women, who is a supervisor at the facility, and the detainees.

The latest case comes after a woman who stayed in Brisbane tested positive on returning to Japan, sparking a health alert.

The woman arrived in Australia in mid-July and quarantined in Sydney before coming to Brisbane. 

A notification alert is active for Virgin flight VA962 from Brisbane to Sydney on August 17 and for anyone at The Jam Pantry cafe at Greenslopes on August 16.

“While in quarantine, she returned two negative test results,” Dr Young said on Wednesday night.

“Because she quarantined in Sydney and travelled straight to Brisbane from hotel quarantine, she could go about her normal life in Brisbane.

“However on her arrival to Japan on 18 August, she was asymptomatic but tested positive.”

Six close contacts of the woman in Brisbane have been tested and are now in quarantine, while tracing continues.

Those on the flight or who dined at the cafe have been told to monitor for symptoms and get tested if any develop.

In a Facebook post the cafe’s owners said they would be closing the venue for deep cleaning on Thursday.

The alert comes after a man who recently returned from Papua New Guinea became Queensland’s latest case, prompting the state to beef up monitoring of its porous northern border.

The man in his 40s had been in hotel quarantine and tested positive on the seventh day of his 14-day isolation period.

Meanwhile, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk again warned Queensland’s border restrictions will continue for now, given the outbreaks in Victoria, NSW and New Zealand, despite federal government pressure.

The issue will be discussed further when the national cabinet of federal, state and territory leaders meets on Friday.

“We need to keep our measures in place,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

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