Health authorities in Queensland believe they have uncovered the missing link in the state’s recent spate of coronavirus cases in the community.
Seven new cases were also detected within the state’s hotel quarantine program.
The premier has described the discovery of the missing link between cases as “fantastic news”.
The nurse is believed to have acquired the virus some time ago and is no longer infectious.
“This is yet another nurse who has unfortunately – through doing nothing wrong – has contracted the infection, from a gentleman who is clearly a super spreader,” Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said.
“It’s not his fault either. He was the gentleman who came from Europe and was admitted and transmitted the infection to a doctor.
“Now, he’s also transmitted it to a nurse.”
Queensland Health believes that the nurse, who resides in North Brisbane, then transmitted the infection to her partner, who spread the infection to his social network.
Dr Young said the nurse’s partner came forward “out of the blue” to get tested, leading to the discovery of the missing chains of transmission.
The nurse didn’t develop any coronavirus symptoms and was unaware she had been infected. She was only tested due to being a close contact of another case.
The PCR test, which tests for active virus in the body, came back negative but serology results proved she had had COVID-19.
“We’ll never get virus that we can do a genome sequence on, but she’s treated the same patient that the doctor who got infected treated,” Dr Young said.
A list of new public health alerts for a number of venues visited by the PA nurse will be released by Queensland Health today.
The nurse was never symptomatic, but Dr Jeanette Young said she has deemed her as infectious from March 10 – the day after she treated the infectious patient – through to March 23.
There are now 82 active cases in Queensland, with 35,357 COVID-19 tests conducted in the past 24-hours.
“That is truly incredible – great testing results,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“They have done everything absolutely wonderfully,” she said.
“It has been an enormously successful process in terms of people coming forward and sharing information with us.
“People are so prepared to share their very close contact details with us, and where they’ve been, and that must be so hard for individuals.”