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Tense wait for contact trace results

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Millions of Queenslanders are anxiously awaiting COVID-19 results of more than 300 people after a doctor contracted the virus on the weekend.

The positive result came after a returning traveller who tested positive to the UK strain of COVID-19 while quarantining at the Hotel Grand Chancellor last week was transferred to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

A female doctor said to have used “appropriate PPE was exposed to the virus while treating the patient on Wednesday before spending Thursday out in the south Brisbane community.

She was tested on Friday morning after developing symptoms and returned a positive result later in the day.

As a result, patrons at the Morning After cafe at West End from 2pm to 3.15pm, Corporate Box Gym at Greenslopes between 5.45pm to 7pm, and the Stones Corner Hotel from 6.30pm to 7.45pm on Thursday have been ordered to get tested immediately and isolate.

At least 238 community contacts have been traced and 61 staff and seven patients were identified as close contacts of the doctor at the hospital, with test results expected to begin trickling in on Monday.

Three of the doctor’s close contacts had “most reassuringly” tested negative as of Sunday, according to deputy chief health officer Sonya Bennett.

“That’s not to say that they’re completely out of the woods – we’ll continue to monitor them while in quarantine, and we also expect to get test results back from those community contacts in the next few days,” she said.

There is also concern a second Hotel Grand Chancellor guest, who tested positive to the virus on their 12th day, could have contracted the same strain at the hotel.

They were staying on the same floor of the hotel as the first case, and authorities are scouring over security footage to determine if there is a chain of transmission.

“It’s one of a number of possible options to explain the case identified (on Saturday),” Dr Bennett said.

“I t either could be that they had a very late incubation period, which we know is possible. It may be they have a similar source from overseas or it may be there’s a transmission in hotel quarantine.”

The same hotel was the centre of Brisbane’s snap three-day lockdown in January. As a result, the facility has entered a 72-hour lockdown, with no guests allowed to leave and no further guests admitted until Wednesday.

As of Sunday, there are 36 active COVID-19 cases in the state.

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