Queensland has recorded another case of the COVID-19 virus in hotel quarantine, as health authorities work to introduce recommendations aimed at preventing the contagion escaping into the community.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath has pledged to institute the hotel quarantine changes recommended in a report into the infection of a cleaner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, which triggered a three-day Greater Brisbane lockdown last month.

Among the recommendations is that an infection prevention and control "buddy" system be introduced across the hotel quarantine program for staff.

The Hotel Grand Chancellor. Photo: Dan Peled.
The Hotel Grand Chancellor. Photo: Dan Peled.

For example, cleaners working as a pair could prompt their "buddy" about correct infection control practices.

The report also calls for revision of hotel guest packs containing infection control information to ensure they are written in an "easy read" format to enhance clarity, "using plain English with diagrams to aid understanding".

"Guest packs are to be available in other languages to cater for culturally and linguistically diverse guests," the review team recommends.

The investigation into the six-person Hotel Grand Chancellor coronavirus cluster, including four guests, identified opportunities "potentially available to persons to breach security".

But the report said: "No evidence of this was discovered."

"No direct breaches in quarantine or security were identified and no matters were identified to support any conclusion that offences were committed," it concluded.

Instead, it found "multiple gaps in infection prevention and control" had most likely led to the cluster.

Recommendations include ensuring hotel door seals are in good condition to "minimise under-door airflows" and therefore, reduce the possibility of the virus escaping from guest rooms into corridors.

They also call for mandatory completion of infection prevention and control training by hotel quarantine staff and for competency assessments in hand washing and in the donning and removal of personal protective equipment.

While the report's authors acknowledged that education for hotel quarantine staff was available on COVID-19, infection and prevention control practices and cleaning, they noted: "It appeared that not all hotel staff have completed the training".

The review team found two of the Grand Chancellor guests who tested positive to the highly infectious UK variant as part of the cluster "found out about their results from the news media and notified the hotel themselves".

"This demonstrates opportunities for enhanced communication processes and in good clinical care of quarantine guests," the report said.

The latest case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in hotel quarantine in Queensland takes the number of confirmed infections in the state to 1312.

Six of those cases are still active.




Originally published as Hotel quarantine crackdown as Qld records one new case