Queensland pushes for use of mining camps for Covid-19 quarantine

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Queensland pushes for use of mining camps for Covid-19 quarantine

Queensland wants to use Outback mining camps instead of Brisbane hotels to quarantine returned travellers, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Thurs

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Queensland wants to use Outback mining camps instead of Brisbane hotels to quarantine returned travellers, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Thursday. 

The state will propose the option to National Cabinet after coronavirus spread through a quarantine hotel, possibly through the air-conditioning, infecting a cleaner and another two travellers on the same floor.

Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor Hotel was evacuated on Wednesday as officials scrambled to work out how UK super-strain of Covid-19 leaked on the seventh floor.

A total of 129 travellers, some of whom were just an hour from being released, have been forced to restart their two-week quarantine in new hotels. 

On Thursday Queensland recorded four more cases of coronavirus, all in hotel quarantine but not linked to the Grand Chancellor Hotel. 

Premier Palaszczuk said the mining camps would be similar to the Northern Territory's Howard Springs quarantine camp (pictured)

Premier Palaszczuk said the mining camps would be similar to the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs quarantine camp (pictured)

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said said held grave concerns about the Hotel Grand Chancellor (pictured) cluster, which has grown to six cases of the highly-contagious UK virus strain

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said said held grave concerns about the Hotel Grand Chancellor (pictured) cluster, which has grown to six cases of the highly-contagious UK virus strain 

Guests at the Hotel Grand Chancellor will be moved to other hotels in Brisbane after the coronavirus cluster grew to six cases. Pictured is two guests on their balcony at Hotel Grand Chancellor on Wednesday

Guests at the Hotel Grand Chancellor will be moved to other hotels in Brisbane after the coronavirus cluster grew to six cases. Pictured is two guests on their balcony at Hotel Grand Chancellor on Wednesday

Some 226 employees who have worked at the hotel since December 30 must also be quarantined and tested.

An additional 250 guests who have left quarantine since December 30 and remain in Queensland are being contacted as they must undergo another 14 days of hotel quarantine. 

Premier Palaszczuk said her government’s moves have been backed by Health Minster Greg Hunt and the AHPPC.

She said the mining camps she wants to use instead of hotels were comfortable and had balconies or outside space. 

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the ambulance transfer of 129 patients to new hotels on Wednesday was ‘perfectly safe’.

‘My concern was that I did not know how it spread in the hotel. So I didn’t want the virus to potentially spread to more people in the hotel. So that’s why I wanted them all out of there,’ she said. 

The cleaner caught the virus from a returned traveller without entering his room, Dr Young said.

Police are investigating by checking CCTV and engineers are also investigating the hotel to see if virus particles travelled in the air conditioning. 

Around 600 people have been forced into quarantine due to the Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster. Pictured are paramedics at the Brisbane hotel on Wednesday

Around 600 people have been forced into quarantine due to the Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster. Pictured are paramedics at the Brisbane hotel on Wednesday

Queensland health authorities are concerned about the growing cluster as life slowly returns to normal in Brisbane after a three day lockdown. Pictured are Brisbane residents returning to their normal lives in the city's CBD on Tuesday

Queensland health authorities are concerned about the growing cluster as life slowly returns to normal in Brisbane after a three day lockdown. Pictured are Brisbane residents returning to their normal lives in the city’s CBD on Tuesday

 The Hotel Grand Chancellor cases

• A man aged in his 30s who arrived from the UK on December 30.

• His partner – a woman in her 30s who arrived from the UK on December 30.

• A hotel cleaner in her 20s.

• Her partner – a man in his 20s.

• A man in his 40s who arrived from Lebanon on January 1.

• His daughter – a woman in her 20s, who arrived on January 1.

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