Man in hotel quarantine tests positive for coronavirus in Queensland

Queensland has recorded one new case of coronavirus on Saturday.

A man in his 20s in hotel quarantine contracted the disease, one of four active cases across the state.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles told reporters on Saturday authorities had discovered “concerning” results when testing wastewater for coronavirus in Townsville.

“For the first time, we have had positive results in the sewage being tested in Townsville, and so we will be working with the Townsville Hospital and health service to just increase our testing rate there, try to work out if there is a case or cases in or around Townsville that we are unaware of, and that have been picked up in that wastewater testing,” Mr Miles said.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young maintained hotel quarantine processes had so far protected Queenslanders from the virus.

“We know there are people coming from higher risk environments you need to come into Queensland for many, many different reasons. So we need to use that hotel quarantine,” she told reporters on Saturday morning.

“We know that is what led to that rapid control back in March. You might remember, back in March, we were seeing up to 86 new cases per day.

“We needed to do something to get on top of that and we did. And hotel quarantine was one of the major successful initiatives that led to us getting control.”

Mr Miles and Dr Young both stood by their system of medical exemptions from hotel quarantine after The Courier-Mail reported multi-millionaire tennis executive Janyne Hrdlicka was given an exemption because her husband has cancer.

Mr Miles said “no consideration whatsoever” is given to who people are when their claim for an exemption is assessed.

“The only consideration is the circumstances, their health circumstances, their health needs and where and how they can safely quarantine,” he said.

Dr Young said some people could not safely quarantine in a hotel.

“That is usually due to severe health issues. So we do have a process to exempt people will from hotel quarantine to then quarantine either in hospital, or if they genuinely don’t need to be in hospital, and there are probably two or three a week it would end up in hospital,” Dr Young said.

“If they do not need to be in hospital, then to quarantine them at home with additional support. So that has been put in place since August 1 for about 60 people.”

Dr Jeanette Young also encouraged residents to go out and enjoy the weather.

“Enjoy outside. We now know that the risk of transmission outside is much, much lower than the risk of transmission inside. So we should all use our climate in Queensland to our advantage and enjoy being outside,” she said.

“Get together with people – that is really important – particularly as we go towards Christmas, to our holiday season, that now is a time definitely to celebrate.”

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