Queensland Health will be vaccinating geriatric nurses at a Gold Coast nursing home this week after a tradie who worked there contracted COVID-19 while standing in the moonlight as an entertainer at a chicken party in Byron Bay.
The tradie hired with TriCare Mermaid Beach to complete the construction is part of an eight-member COVID-19 virus cluster that began at Princess Alexandra Hospital, treating a traveler who is returning from India with the British variant.
Genome sequencing has linked the Traveler’s case to a PA Hospital nurse who also infected her sister and five other people who attended the Byron Bay Chicken Party, including the Tradie.
In a statement, the nursing home said the Tradie worked there for about two hours on Monday to complete some construction before testing positive for COVID-19.
« The contractor had no direct contact with elderly care residents and had limited interaction with two employees. Both employees will be quarantined per Queensland Health Directions, » the nursing home said.
« The contractor’s temperature was measured at the start of work on Monday with a non-elevated reading. When he was informed that he was in close contact with a confirmed case, he immediately left the site, as did all the other contractors on the Construction site were working.
« We are treating this situation as extremely serious. The nursing home is completely locked and follows the protocol for personal protective equipment. »
All residents of the elderly care at the house on the Gold Coast, with the exception of those who were not doing well or who did not give their consent, received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 11 as part of the introduction of the federal government.
Jeannette Young, chief health officer, has directed Queensland Health to ensure that the remaining workers are vaccinated as soon as possible.
« The team on the Gold Coast is organizing to go to this facility today and vaccinate the staff, » she said at a press conference.
Dr. Young said the nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital at the center of the cluster was believed to have been infected while working at the hospital on March 23 and into the wee hours of March 24.
However, investigations are ongoing into how she contracted the virus as she was not assigned to the COVID-19 ward for that shift.
Dr. Young said staff at the PA hospital where the nurse worked were being tested « to see if there was another case. »
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