Queensland Health officials are considering moving all of the state’s COVID-19 patients into one location to reduce the risk of transition across its hospitals.
The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital is the potential site for the high-care location.
“It is a central hospital that has managed the COVID virus very well,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
“We’ll still be using others outside the Brisbane area as well but we need to look at all options.”
Queensland recorded no new local cases of COVID-19 today after 14,000 tests in the previous 24 hours.
The state reported one new confirmed case in hotel quarantine, an Australian returned traveller from Pakistan who caught the virus overseas.
Staff from the Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital and their close contacts have been told to isolate immediately and wait for test results after health authorities expressed concern about a specific room at the hospital.
Anyone who worked in Ward 5D – the hospital’s infectious diseases ward – between March 9 and March 28 have been told to immediately self-isolate while they await test results.
Their families and housemates have also been told to get tested immediately.
The warning comes after two nurses were found to have contracted the virus while working in the ward with infected COVID-19 patients.
Genomic sequencing confirmed both nurses had contracted the virus from a patient returned from India – however neither of the two cases came into direct contact with the patient prompting concern over how the virus was transmitted.
Ms D’Ath said investigations were continuing into how transmission occurred however it was not related to any breach of PPE standards at the hospital.
“We know it happened under very unusual circumstances,” she said.
The investigation will include inquiries into possible transmission through ventilation systems, Ms D’Ath said.
Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, said that the two COVID-19 patients who infected hospital staff both stayed in the same room within Ward 5D of the hospital, one after the other.
“We think there could be a problem with that particular room or the environment around that room,” Dr Young said.
No new coronavirus cases are being admitted to the PA Hospital while that investigation takes place.
Testing of hospital staff has also been increased, with all frontline staff working directly with COVID-19 patients to be tested at the start of every shift, in the same way as those working at quarantine hotels.