Stripping tradie has Gold Coast on edge over COVID outbreak

 

Queensland Health will vaccinate aged care workers at a Gold Coast nursing home this week after a tradie who worked there was infected with COVID-19 while moonlighting as an entertainer at a Byron Bay hens' party.

The tradie, who was contracted to TriCare Mermaid Beach to complete building works, is part of an eight-person COVID-19 virus cluster that began at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, where a traveller returning from India with the UK variant is being treated.

Genomic sequencing has linked the traveller's case to a PA Hospital nurse, who has also infected her sister and five other people who attended the Byron Bay hens' party, including the tradie.

TriCare Mermaid Beach has been placed into lockdown.

 

 

TriCare Mermaid Beach this morning after it was revealed a worker at the site may have been exposed to COVID-19. Picture: Glenn Hampson
TriCare Mermaid Beach this morning after it was revealed a worker at the site may have been exposed to COVID-19. Picture: Glenn Hampson

In a statement, the aged care home said the tradie had worked there for about two hours on Monday to complete some building works before testing positive to COVID-19.

"The contractor had no direct contact with any aged care residents and limited interaction with two staff members. Both staff are quarantining as per Queensland Health Directions," the nursing home said.

"The contractor's temperature was taken on commencement of work on Monday with a non-elevated reading. When advised he was a close contact of a confirmed case, he left the site immediately, as did all other contractors working at the site.

"We are treating this situation as extremely serious. The aged care residence is in full lockdown and following personal protective equipment protocol."

 

 

Workers onsite at TriCare Mermaid Beach this morning after it was revealed a worker (not pictured) at the site may have been exposed to COVID-19. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Workers onsite at TriCare Mermaid Beach this morning after it was revealed a worker (not pictured) at the site may have been exposed to COVID-19. Picture: Glenn Hampson

All aged care residents at the Gold Coast home, except those who were unwell or did not provide consent, received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Federal Government rollout, on March 11.

Twenty people who worked there were also vaccinated that day.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has instructed Queensland Health to ensure the remaining workers are vaccinated as soon as possible.

"The team down at the Gold Coast are organising to go to that facility today and vaccinate the staff," she told a news conference.

 


 

Dr Young said the Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse at the centre of the cluster was believed to have become infected while working at the hospital on March 23 and into the early hours of March 24.

But investigations are underway as to how she caught the virus as she was not assigned to the COVID-19 ward for that shift.

"Of course we are looking at this and how it's happened," Dr Young said.

"It's too early to know. It's not because we haven't looked, it's just too early."

Dr Young said staff at the PA Hospital where the nurse worked were undergoing testing "to see if there's been another case" there.

Originally published as Aged care workers exposed to COVID tradie to be vaccinated immediately



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