Queensland Health says that genome sequencing results have confirmed the Brisbane COVID-19 case reported on Sunday (20 June) is the Alpha variant.
Genome sequencing has also helped reveal the transmission is likely to have occurred in hotel quarantine.
The genome sequence is identical to a cabin crew member who underwent quarantine at the same hotel.
Queensland Health is continuing investigations to understand how the transmission occurred, and thank the hotel for their assistance.
However, early indications suggest there has been fomite transmission from a hotel guest who was infectious to Sunday’s case.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the positive case had been in hotel quarantine for 14 days and tested negative on day zero, day five and day 12.
‘On day 14, she left hotel quarantine, however later that morning, had a routine surveillance test required by all cabin crew every seven days, and this test returned a positive result,’ said Dr Young.
‘We have to take all variants seriously but given this one is Alpha, it reduces the risk to the community as opposed to the more contagious Delta strain we had initially suspected that is now circulating through parts of Sydney.
Dr Jeannette Young said that as a result of reviewing the CCTV footage, Queensland Health has been able to downgrade the risk associated with DFO Brisbane (Airport). ‘We now ask anyone who attended between 4pm and 4.30pm on Saturday, 19 June to monitor for symptoms and get tested if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild.
‘The exception is the Cotton On store where anyone who visited between 4.10pm and 4.30pm must quarantine and complete the online contact tracing form.
‘We have added the Hamilton Harbour Residences to the contact tracing list for the duration of the day (19 June), as there is a possibility non-residents may have visited throughout the day and used the same lifts as the positive case.
‘We are continuing our contact tracing efforts, including reviewing CCTV footage.
‘To date, more than 63 contacts have been identified, including 50 close contacts. Close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days from their exposure.’
Contact tracing locations are published at https://www.qld.gov.au/
Dr Young added that getting tested is the best way to protect the community with nearly 4,000 tests undertaken in the 24 hours prior to 6pm Monday.
Testing locations are available throughout Brisbane. Go to www.qld.gov.au/
A total of five new cases have been recorded in Queensland today. All were overseas acquired and detected in hotel quarantine.
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