Qld cops in isolation after Covid man tried to escape

 

Eleven police officers are in isolation after they were forced to physically restrain a man who had tested positive to COVID-19 as he attempted to leave hotel quarantine.

The security incident unfolded on Sunday at the Rydges Hotel in Brisbane's Southbank, as the 41-year-old man tried to leave the quarantine facility.

The 11 officers were wearing personal protective equipment and are in home-isolation for 14 days, Queensland Police confirmed.

As of Friday morning, they had all returned negative tests.

The man in question has been transported to hospital.

"The Queensland Police Service is conducting welfare checks on the members each day and has been able to make arrangements to ensure adequate staffing is in place while they are isolating," a statement from QPS said.

Eleven police officers are in home-isolation after coming into close contact with a COVID-positive man in hotel quarantine. Picture: Scott Powick/ Newscorp
Eleven police officers are in home-isolation after coming into close contact with a COVID-positive man in hotel quarantine. Picture: Scott Powick/ Newscorp

Last week Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young warned that police working in quarantine facilities posed a risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community.

Staff must now be tested on a weekly basis to ameliorate the risk.

"The highest risk is actually police … They don't have to remain in isolation or quarantine until they get the result," Dr Young said last Thursday.

"We will start testing staff who have direct contact with people who are in hotel quarantine, just as another level of assurance that we're managing that risk."

As a matter of practice, all confirmed hotel quarantine cases are moved into hospitals, Health Minister Yvette D'Ath confirmed last week.

She said this was "unlike other jurisdictions" that regularly keep positive guests in hotels.

Unlike other states, Queensland’s hotel quarantine system remains under the jurisdiction of police and the Australian Defence Force. Picture: Scott Powick/ Newscorp
Unlike other states, Queensland’s hotel quarantine system remains under the jurisdiction of police and the Australian Defence Force. Picture: Scott Powick/ Newscorp

Queensland's hotel quarantine system strictly uses police and Australian Defence Force personnel to guard the facilities, which Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said would lower the risk of outbreaks.

Earlier this week Ms Palaszczuk warned the hotel quarantine systems in other states still posed a risk to the country, as Australia moves to open borders in time for Christmas.

"We still have to remember, (an outbreak) can happen at anytime," Ms Palaszczuk said on Wednesday.

"We've got people coming back from overseas going into hotel quarantine and it only takes one person to go out or to go into the community and we could be back into a semi-kind of lockdown."

It has been more than 70 days since a case of COVID-19 in the Queensland community, with all 14 active cases currently detected in hotel quarantine.

Originally published as Qld cops in isolation after Covid man tried to escape quarantine


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