Queensland police officers forced to isolate after contact with Covid-infected man at hotel | Queensland

Almost a dozen Queensland police officers have been forced into Covid-19 isolation after they came into close contact with an infected man in hotel quarantine.

The incident happened at the Rydges Hotel in South Brisbane on Sunday when police were called to check on a 41-year-old-man’s welfare, police say.

The man was later tested for the virus and returned a positive result, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

All 11 officers are in either home isolation or hotel quarantine and have tested negative for the virus.

The officers were wearing personal protective equipment when they interacted with the man.

Queensland recorded no new coronavirus cases on Thursday. There are currently 14 active cases in the state.

Meanwhile, Tasmania will keep its border closed to South Australia in the short term amid new coronavirus cases linked to an Adelaide cluster.

The outbreak grew to 31 on Thursday after a high school student and man in his 40s tested positive.

The Tasmanian premier, Peter Gutwein, said border restrictions would remain in place for SA arrivals, but an update would be provided in coming days.

“As it stands, the medium-risk arrangements will remain in place,” he said.

The state’s public health director, Mark Veitch, said it was important to take a cautious approach to avoid “flip-flopping” on quarantine requirements.

Gutwein confirmed a “mercy flight” to repatriate Australians stranded overseas would touch down on the island state on 6 December.

The charter plane from Delhi is part of Tasmania’s pledge to host 450 returning international travellers across three flights.

They will be tested before leaving India and must have a negative test before being allowed out of two weeks isolation in Hobart.

Gutwein said police would manage and supervise hotel quarantine, and private security would only be used to monitor doors and exits.

Tasmania will also welcome 150 workers from Timor Leste in early December to help out with fruit picking.

They will be required to quarantine for a fortnight before beginning work.

About 6,000 Tasmanians have signed up for the summer work, about two times the usual figure.

Tasmania will drop border restrictions with Victoria on Friday for the first time in eight months, meaning it will be open to all states and territories bar SA.

Victoria is one day away from a significant milestone in the fight against Covid-19 – the official elimination of the virus from the community. But another unexpected wastewater find in Geelong’s north has prompted a testing push.

The state reached 27 days without a new case on Thursday, having posted no positive results from 12,862 tests.

Health authorities say 28 days with no new cases means the virus has been eliminated from the community, given that period represents two 14-day incubation periods.

The last Covid-19 patient in a Victorian hospital was discharged on Monday, leaving the state without an active case.

Despite this, more virus fragments have been found as part of its wastewater surveillance testing program.

The fragments were found in a sample from a treatment plant in the Geelong suburb of Corio, where residents and visitors to the area from Saturday to Tuesday were urged to come forward for testing.

“We have had few of these positive wastewater results recently and, while we haven’t discovered any undiagnosed case of coronavirus, it is possible that there may be an infectious person in this catchment,” the acting chief health officer, Allen Cheng, said.

The state’s hotel quarantine system is preparing to restart international arrivals on 7 December.

The state’s second wave of the virus spread from hotel quarantine, and was responsible for more than 18,000 Covid-19 infections and 750 deaths.

The government has promised the overhauled system will be stress-tested, and staff contacts will be mapped out in case of any infections.

Also on Thursday, Chief Commissioner Shane Patton confirmed Victoria police would have “significant involvement” in the revamped hotel quarantine program.

“We’re doing everything we can to prepare,” he told 3AW.

The NSW border with Victoria has reopened already, while Queensland will reopen its border on 1 December.

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