Queensland health authorities are pleading with residents who visited a wide-ranging list of venues to come forward for testing as a cluster of the UK variant of coronavirus is declared.
Hotel Grand Chancellor, which has been used to quarantine international arrivals was marked as a hotspot for the first time on Wednesday, as experts linked all six cases to the building.
Queensland Health’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said anyone who has been at the hotel since December 30 must get tested immediately.
She said the hotel has now been closed to international arrivals and all 129 quarantined-occupants are being moved to other accommodation as a precautionary measure.
“The safest thing to do, is to move all the guests out of the hotel to other hotels, immediately,” Dr Young said.
“That has now started. So all those 129 remaining people in that hotel will move. they will get tested.
“So far it‘s floor seven … and that’s where it has spread.
“We can’t work out exactly what happened and we are struggling to see how it got out.
“Police are leading the investigation.”
Anyone who has been at the following venues at the following times and dates, must get tested even if they are not showing symptoms.
- Hotel Grand Chancellor, Brisbane City: Any time since December 30
- Woolworths Calamvale North: January 3, 11am-noon
- Bunnings Warehouse, Acacia Ridge: January 5, 2pm-2.40pm
- Nextra Newsagent, Sunnybank Hills: January 5, 8am-8.15am
- Coles Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown: January 5, 7.30am-8am
- Sunnybank Cellars (formerly Lucky Star Bottler), Sunnybank: January 6, 2.05pm-2.15pm
So far, six people have contracted the UK variant at Hotel Grand Chancellor including a cleaner who passed the virus onto her partner.
The first person to be detected with the UK variant, a more contagious strain of COVID-19, was a man on December 30.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has apologised to international arrivals who quarantined in the Hotel Grand Chancellor who must now begin a further 14 day stint in quarantine before being released.
She said they would not be charged.
Hotel Grand Chancellor has been housing international arrivals since September, she said.
“I know it’s going to be tough on these people to do an additional 14 days, but it is necessary,” she said.