Eight hospital staff in quarantine

EIGHT staff members at the Ipswich Hospital pathology laboratory have gone into 14 days' quarantine after they all had contact with a confirmed case of pandemic coronavirus.

An engineer contracted to perform work at the laboratory is understood to have had respiratory symptoms at the time and later tested positive to the virus.

Tests for the virus are not performed at the laboratory.

 

 

Ipswich General Hospital. Photo: David Nielsen
Ipswich General Hospital. Photo: David Nielsen

Queensland Health said the hospital's pathology service would not be affected by the need for the eight workers to go into quarantine.

The engineer is among 921 people who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Queensland since the first confirmed case on January 29.

Health Minister Steven Miles said 43 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Queensland hospitals, including 12 in intensive care. Ten of those required ventilators.

Mr Miles said 173 of the state's COVID-19 patients, fewer than one in five, had recovered.

Queensland cases rose by 14 overnight, an increase of just 1.5 per cent.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

In the Cairns and Hinterland region, case numbers have jumped by 25 per cent in the past four days, a growth much higher than figures across the state.

Recorded infections in the far north region have risen to 30 - up from 24 on April 2.

Queensland cases overall have increased from 835 to 921 since April 2, a spike of 10 per cent.

The state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has singled out Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast for increased testing because of concerns about community transmission in those regions.

 

Queensland Health Steven Miles and Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Tony Martin.
Queensland Health Steven Miles and Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Tony Martin.

Dr Young said public health units had been unable to trace the source of infection for 32 of Queensland's cases.

She said people in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast could be tested for the novel virus at fever clinics if they were experiencing respiratory symptoms, regardless of whether they had travelled overseas.

"We'll be doing that additional testing to just get a picture of whether we think there is any community spread happening," Dr Young said. "Of course, clinicians can always test if they've got any concern."

Testing so far in Queensland has largely concentrated on people with respiratory symptoms who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days or have had close contact with a confirmed case.

Testing is also being carried out on people with symptoms of the virus who work in healthcare, aged or residential care, the military, prisons, detention centres or boarding schools and for those who live in an indigenous community.



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