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Queensland health ‘confident’ Grand Chancellor outbreak avoided

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Authorities are “confident” they have prevented a possible outbreak arising from a positive case at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.

The Queensland government are hopeful an outbreak of the UK's mutant coronavirus strain has been avoided as the state recorded three new cases of COVID-19 overnight.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said two of the cases are returned travellers in quarantine hotels, neither of whom were in the Grand Chancellor hotel where the highly infectious strain had spread.

One case has been reported in Cairns, but that is a historical case.

"So we have no concerns about those three today," Ms Palaszczuk said.

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Mining camps as quarantine facilities

Ms Palaszczuk said she will be taking a proposal to utilise mining camps as COVID-19 quarantine facilities to National Cabinet next Friday.

"These investigations will continue about looking at different options," she said.

"There needs to be a lot of work that's done there.

"We need to have these options on the table because, as we know, there's a lot of this UK strain circulating at the moment in UK, and parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and we do need to make sure that we have the best lines of defence here in Queensland."

'Good news' after Grand Chancellor Hotel scare

Health authorities delivered further good news today, announcing no further spread of coronavirus as a result of a positive case at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.

All of the 129 people categorised as "high risk" after transfer from the hotel have tested negative.

In addition, the 147 people who left the hotel since December 30 have also tested negative again.

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All of the 226 staff members have been contacted but only some tested.

"We are still working through that," Ms Palaszcuk said.

The state's Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said she was confident authorities had prevented a possible outbreak connected with the hotel.

"I am becoming more and more confident that there is no ongoing spread related to that," Dr Young said today.

She said the probe into the spread of the mutant strain was being done over the next 24 hours.

"Police will continue their investigation and we will be able to work out what we need to do going forward," she said.

Queensland's three new COVID-19 cases

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young is providing more details on Queensland's three new COVID-19 cases detected overnight.

One is a man in his 60s in hotel quarantine in Brisbane who returned to Australia from the Philippines, where it's believed he acquired the infection.

The second is a man in his 40s who has returned from the United States and is also in hotel quarantine.

The third is a man in his 40s from North Cairns.

He returned from the Congo in September, when he spent 14 days in hotel quarantine but tested negative at that time.

"But he had to have a test done prior to returning to work, so an employment requirement, and he's tested positive," Dr Young said.

"He's totally asymptomatic, so we think that is most likely a persistent shedding.

"We know you can shed for up to nine months after you're positive."

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Sewerage mystery solved

Today's historic case of COVID-19 in a North Cairns man likely explains months of positive sewerage results in North Cairns, Dr Young said.

"If you remember we have had quite a few of those and we have not been able to explain them," she said.

"He lives in North Cairns – that is the most likely explanation there.

"Now we are going to do additional testing, just to confirm all of that but I am very confident that that will be an historical case and not infectious at the moment."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-queensland-grand-chancellor-hotel-outbreak-avoided-cho-says-three-new-cases/48f0a0e3-6410-44d7-8d2c-a3f741dccdde

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